CS Ph.D. Candidate Wins TopCoder Open
"Does this guy ever lose?" Computer Science Ph.D. candidate Tomasz (Tomek) Czajka brought home the top prize from the TopCoder Open for the second year in a row. The competition is open to all members of the TopCoder organization and took place in Santa Clara, California on November 11th and 12th. TopCoder is designed to provide lead programmers the opportunity to compete, learn and interact with each other. TopCoder's roster of members include 47,000 of the top thinkers and technologists from around the world.
Tomek competed in the 2004 TopCoder Open with 23 additional finalists in the Algorithm competition. Although he went to the competition keeping a close eye on a few of his top rivals, he lists his opponents as good friends. Tomek competed in over a dozen programming competitions during his undergraduate studies at Warsaw University in Poland. He graduated from Warsaw University, Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics, and Mechanics with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2003. His awards and honors include the 2003 World Champ and 2001 Silver Medallist in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest. He was also the winner of the ACM Central European Collegiate Programming Contest in 2002, second place winner of this contest in 2001, and winner in 2000. He has taken fourth place in the Google Code Jam two years in a row, won the VisualAge for Java Challenge, taken second place in the Polish Academic Collegiate Programming Contest in 2001 & 2002 and won the Polish Academic Collegiate Programming Contest in 2000.
Tomek began Purdue's Computer Science graduate program this fall. He is interested in algorithms, data structures, theory of computing, and artificial intelligence. Currently, Tomek is a Teaching Assistant for Data Structures at Purdue, a member of the Polish Olympiad in Informatics jury, a coop member of the Polish Children's fund, and an Assistant Coach of the USA Computing Olympiad. Tomek is working to establish an undergraduate training program at Purdue for ACM programming contests. Tomek will also participate in the upcoming 2005 TopCoder Collegiate Challenge open to university students with a TopCoder membership. Tomek will go to this competition as returning champ in March.
For the complete TopCoder story on Tomek's victory at the 2004 TopCoder Open and competition details, visit the TopCoder web site at https://www.topcoder.com/.