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China Dominates In NSA-Backed Coding Contest

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the now-to-get-the-security-clearance dept.

Education 316

The Narrative Fallacy writes "With about 4,200 people participating in a US National Security Agency-supported international competition on everything from writing algorithms to designing components, 20 of the 70 finalists were from China, 10 from Russia, and 2 from the US. China's showing in the finals was helped by its large number of entrants, 894. India followed at 705, but none of its programmers was a finalist. Russia had 380 participants; the United States, 234; Poland, 214; Egypt, 145; and Ukraine, 128. Participants in the TopCoder Open was open to anyone, from student to professional; the contest proceeded through rounds of elimination that finished this month in Las Vegas. Rob Hughes, president and COO of TopCoder, says the strong finish by programmers from China, Russia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere is indicative of the importance those countries put on mathematics and science education. 'We do the same thing with athletics here that they do with mathematics and science there.'"

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Chinks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28271835)

How is a lawn sprinkler racist?

Because ... it's always saying "spic-spic-spic-spic *CHINK* nigger-nigger-nigger-nigger"

Damn (5, Funny)

Xs1t0ry (1247414) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271837)

"We do the same thing with athletics here that they do with mathematics and science there...."

Apparently I was born on the wrong continent.

Re:Damn (5, Insightful)

pluther (647209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272211)

What's worse, the quote isn't even true.

We don't do the same thing with athletics here as they do with math and science over there. In fact, they do the same thing with athletics as they do with math and science.

That is, they consider athletics to be important and encourage every child to participate in at least one sport.

We, on the other hand, idolize a very small number of top achievers and encourage every child to watch them on TV.

Re:Damn (5, Informative)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272263)

You must not be too familiar with schools. Time and time again the schools around where I grew up, real educational funds were slashed in favor of building a new gymnasium, funding an entirely new sport, sending the teams to beach trips, and all other sorts of athletics pandering. Meanwhile, it took decades of tooth-and-nail fighting to get a renovation (not even new) auditorium and stage for music and drama, the arts were always scrounging for supplies, science events were always short-changed and trips cut, and math texts were so ragged they were useless.

Re:Damn (5, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272561)

This was true at my college in the late 1980's to early 1990's.

We built a new spiffy apartment complex for students-- and then filled it with atheletes.

They cut library publication subscriptions-- and gave more money to the athletic program.

They were desperate to break into the national scene and failed.

Re:Damn (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272593)

Either that or they look the other way when their crackers attack US based computers.

As far as math and science goes, their education system sucks in most ways compared to that of the US, with the exception of there being an identifiable relationship between effort and outcome. We could do the same thing if we fired the sophists currently working in education and replaced them with actual competent educators. If their education system were better than ours, then they wouldn't be coming here in droves to get degrees and head home.

Re:Damn (5, Funny)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272249)

Yes, the Chinese Professional Math League (YDVF) is quite a sight to watch. Arenas filled with cheering fans watching a bunch of guys doing math and science. I still don't like the free agency rule implemented last year, but it has provided more parity between teams. The 'player' salaries are quite a bit higher actually than some of the top athletes in sports like football in other places around the globe. They truly treat mathematics like we treat athletics.

Re:Damn (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272341)

I am a Chinese and I have no idea what you are talking about. I have never heard of "the Chinese Professional Math League".

Re:Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272385)

Whoosh!!! :-D

Re:Damn (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272437)

Not only do they not treat mathematicians like we treat athletes, they also treat athletes like we treat them! I was reading through the profiles of the workers in our China branch, and several of them mentioned they like AI. That's not Artificial Intelligence, folks, that's Allen Iverson!

Re:Damn (5, Insightful)

Knave75 (894961) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272295)

"We do the same thing with athletics here that they do with mathematics and science there....

The problem is that we are overpaying our teachers.

(but, seriously, we give math and science teachers a starvation wage and provide them with little respect. Meanwhile, we pay football coaches 6 figure salaries and revere them as Gods. Are we really that surprised that we fail at math?)

Re:Damn (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272637)

Yes, but even a change of policy to make it less anti-education would be a step in the right direction. Expecting people to work for peanuts, fighting the school district's typically laughable curriculum hoping for a few students to win out over incompetent testing standards, isn't something that's likely to draw in the best possible teachers.

High stress, low relation between success and effort low wages; gee I wonder why it's so hard to get men into education. If only there were similar fields that paid better and offered a lot of the same rewards, like say coaching.

Rice Niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28271839)

Rice nigger no speaka the engrish... only do the math.

Re:Rice Niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272667)

You should be nice to your new owners asshole.

Excellent (3, Informative)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271841)

Given the percentage of Chinese coders in comparison to US, they still did roughly twice as good. (Cue the math pedants)

Re:Excellent (2, Informative)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271891)

I think you need to be more concerned with the grammar pedants

Re:Excellent (1)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271947)

I think you need to be more concerned with the grammar pedants . --- Goodness gracious folks, it's a period!

I'm not sure if you were talking to me or about me.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28271913)

English pedants. "Twice as well" is correct.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28271925)

No, No, NO!

You know all those government break-ins over the last couple of years? Well, that was the Chinese coding team practicing!

They're not better. They just practiced with the real thing.

Re:Excellent (1)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272025)

Given the percentage of Chinese coders in comparison to US, they still did roughly twice as good.

That might be true, if the coders participating in the competition were a representative sampling of the whole population of coders from each country. But, I don't think there's any reason to think that is the case.

It's like arguing that South Korea, as a nation, is better at baseball than the US, just because they won the gold in Beijing.

Re:Excellent (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272137)

they still did roughly twice as well . (Cue the math pedants)
and grammar Nazis.

Re:Excellent (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272669)

they still did roughly twice as good. (Cue the math pedants)

They still did twice as well.

Nail 'em with the pedantry they weren't expecting. That's what I always say.

You can say it all you want (5, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271847)

'We do the same thing with athletics here that they do with mathematics and science there.'

Thats nice, and I believe it's disgusting how athletics are held here, but the public has made it abundantly clear that's they way they want it. I, for one, would like to welcome our new Chinese overlords.

And it's not really true... (5, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272073)

IMHO it's not that we (yeah, I'm from so called "Eastern Europe") focus on mathematics and hard science, it's just that, from what I see, athletes/etc. are put on a smaller pedestal

(perhaps partly because of economic considerations...celebrities here simply aren't worth that much as a product; means also that for larger percentage of "would-be celebrities" the only future is as a bouncer or whore, etc.)

But they are still put on a pedestal...

Re:You can say it all you want (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272145)

I, for one, would like to welcome our new Chinese overlords.

Maybe when that happens, we'll get a better education system in place.

Re:You can say it all you want (2, Interesting)

siddesu (698447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272149)

Also, spooks could be more motivated to win a competition run by NSA compared to the people who have the citizenship and background to compete for a job instead.

Re:You can say it all you want (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272247)

Also, spooks could be more motivated to win a competition run by NSA compared to the people who have the citizenship and background to compete for a job instead.

Nah, the spooks aren't going to give up on rap and basketball.

Re:You can say it all you want (3, Funny)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272157)

Oh, sure, like drunken sports fans and tubby couch coaches aren't going to be important in the digital age. Those other countries just don't know what they're doing. Just wait, in a post-apocalyptic world we Americans will be ready to drink and fight with the best of them!

Re:You can say it all you want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272203)

I, for one, would like to welcome our new Chinese overlords.

Ha! I will fight them off with my magic phone number: (444) 444-4444.

Re:You can say it all you want (5, Informative)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272647)

IMO (having spent about half my life the "West" and the other half in "Eastern Europe") the primary difference seems to be one of respect for knowledge.

In the West while I was at school it was "cool" to be stupid. Kids who smoked, did drugs, didn't do any work, rejected knowledge/lessons, skipped school etc... were by far the most popular, with many followers. The hard working kids that did well on the other hand, were mocked as "teachers pets", "dorks" etc... and were generally social outcasts.

On the other hand when I was in Eastern Europe, if you were knowledgeable in a subject (especially something seen as hard, like Maths/physics etc...) you ended up being popular, while those that smoked/did drugs/skipped school etc... as above were seen as troublemakers to be avoided. People there seemed to appreciate your knowledge. I guess it's because it's seen as a reliably useful skill (i.e. employable), as opposed to just looking pretty, which only works for the top 1% that manage to become celebrities, the rest usually ending up as whores/gold diggers or thugs/bouncers.

That's not to say athletics was discouraged, on the contrary you were expected to take part in at least one physical activity, but it wasn't a case of athletics being the be-all-end-all of life

Or is it due to time and money? (5, Funny)

kbob88 (951258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271853)

Maybe programmers in China, Russia, and Eastern Europe have more time on their hands, less money, and would derive more benefit from participating in the contest (prestige and recognition for instance). I'm sure there are a great many US coders who would do very well in this contest, but are too busy.

Re:Or is it due to time and money? (5, Interesting)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271937)

Better yet, was the opening of said contest even announced on US top tech sites?

Second, did US employers, who hire our best programmers, tell them to give it a go with time off?

Re:Or is it due to time and money? (1)

tbischel (862773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272611)

Many of the competitions were short (90 minutes per round, one round per week), and timed to have rounds on the weekends.

Re:Or is it due to time and money? (1, Insightful)

ThePlague (30616) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271939)

Or don't want to get on an NSA list.

Re:Or is it due to time and money? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272497)

You already are; the question is how many?

Re:Or is it due to time and money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28271977)

>I'm sure there are a great many US coders who would do very well in this contest, but are too busy.

Yea right. Too busy blogging on their iphones.

America doesn't value a good scientific education. That's why you didn't do very well.

Re:Or is it due to time and money? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272661)

Its not as funny as it sounds, i know personally when i had more free time to waste, i was a better coder.

Re:Or is it due to time and money? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272741)

I'm sure there are a great many US coders who would do very well in this contest, but are too busy.

There is some truth in that I think. I know that when I get home at the end of a day of programming the last thing I want to do is sit down in front of an editor and work on a personal project. I would say that another difference between the United States and other countries is more direct state sponsorship of research and development activities so that qualified people have the time and resources to continue their studies and R&D activities after they have completed their degrees instead of diving right into the commercial business software job market which generally involves well known coding areas with less active research and development (although there are exceptions, Google for instance, which allows and encourages employees to spend some time working on personal software development interests).

We do the same thing with athletics here that they (5, Funny)

overshoot (39700) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271863)

Which reminds me -- how is the USA doing in the World Cup?

Re:We do the same thing with athletics here that t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28271901)

I assume they mean sports we give a crap about.

Re:We do the same thing with athletics here that t (1)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272111)

Who is this 'we' you speak of?

Re:We do the same thing with athletics here that t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272591)

I suspect he means the 'we' that comprise the ratings (TV, attendance and otherwise) of MLB, the NFL and NBA, vs. that of say, the MLS? NCAA sports too. They have larger crowds than MLS. Typically, Americans don't care about soccer. It's ok if you like it. Just in general Americans don't. It isn't a personal attack against you.

Re:We do the same thing with athletics here that t (5, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271911)

What's that?

Re:We do the same thing with athletics here that t (1)

NickyGotz22 (1427691) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271983)

Is this World Cup half full or half empty? And why does it say made in China on the bottom?

Re:We do the same thing with athletics here that t (1)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272033)

I don't know, but they left a pile of crap on the world plate for everybody else to eat up.

Re:We do the same thing with athletics here that t (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272161)

I didn't know we had a national sailboat racing team!

Other factors (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28271879)

Our good programmers are gainfully employed.

whatever (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28271889)

I don't have time for those things. I'm too busy. Working. As a programmer.

Hah (0, Flamebait)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271905)

I'm not surprised about India.
Of the people I've dealt with over there when I was being replaced by them, they were very incompetent. They didn't even understand basic principals of computers and/or programming. Their primary titles were as developers/coders, so good luck to the idiots who sought to save a penny.

Re:Hah (4, Insightful)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271971)

Given that your willing to write off the population of an entire country on your limited anecdotal evidence, I have to wonder whether the people outsourcing the role knew they'd get incompetents, but at least the new incompetents would be cheaper.

Re:Hah (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271993)

I'm assuming "the best" applied for the contest.

Re:Hah (1)

hansraj (458504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272269)

Ignoring your bitterness about losing your job to an Indian, I believe the-indian-mindset is at least partly responsible for very good Indian programmers not being in the contest.

India has very recently seen an economic boom and with a huge populations things have been pretty tough till quite recently. Something as basic as getting a job (any job) used to be a lot tougher and a large chunk of Indians grow up focusing on *making a career*. Now why would that result in a lack of good programmers competing here? I believe that quite a few good brains get pushed into climbing the social and economic ladder - I mean why try to prepare for a job that will only fetch you 50000 Rupees a month in the best case if you can aim for much more?

You just don't have a culture of taking a break and doing something just for the fun of it. Sure many people end up doing the things that they enjoy (I do research and quite enjoy it) but if there is a risk that your "hobby" might not result in a successful career, you change your track early on!

I suppose things will change as more and more Indians get rich and assuming Indians are as capable as any other group of humans (a reasonable assumption, wouldn't you say?) you should see a lot more guru-coders from India in future just due to the fact that there are a *lot* of Indians (China had it's own economic boom quite before India and you see that reflected here already).

By the way, it might not be any consolation to you but I think the reason you were replaced with inferior programmers was because the better ones probably are heading up higher than "programmer"; the Indian psyche is fiercely ambitious and competitive.

Re:Hah (2, Interesting)

aralin (107264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272445)

You might be onto something here. My typical experience with Indian programmers is that I just cannot make them to take up any project outside of work no matter how much I suggest it would be a good idea and for most of them 100% of their experience comes from past work projects. Extracurricular activities seem to not be very popular in India from my experience. On the other hand, if I talk with my Easter European friends, more than 50% of their experience will come from projects done outside of work. So they would be more likely to replace some of that extracurricular activity with participation in a contest like this. I cannot say about the Chinese, never had much experience with them though.

Re:Hah (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272237)

And apparently you've not worked with anyone educated by India's "educational" system.

I know some very smart India born programmers, engineers, etc. The biggest difference, they moved to the good 'ol U.S. of A or England and got a real education.

Those who have stuck around in India;
1) do not know how to say 'no', so they can always do what you're asking of them and they've done it before (even if they haven't) and
2) aren't very good at what they do, except taking your money and doing shoddy work.

While I'm not willing to write off an entire population, I am willing to write off an entire country.

Re:Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272555)

And apparently you've not worked with anyone educated by India's "educational" system.

I know some very smart India born programmers, engineers, etc. The biggest difference, they moved to the good 'ol U.S. of A or England and got a real education.

Those who have stuck around in India;
1) do not know how to say 'no', so they can always do what you're asking of them and they've done it before (even if they haven't) and
2) aren't very good at what they do, except taking your money and doing shoddy work.

While I'm not willing to write off an entire population, I am willing to write off an entire country.

Being unable to say "No" is a cultural difference. In many non-Western cultures, saying "No" is equated with loosing face. Unfortunately, when one is working with engineering, saying "No" can easily be just as important as saying "Yes".

The correlations between culture's which adopted a Hellenistic [wikipedia.org] mindset and said culture's overall level of advancement are not statistical anomalies to be disregarded at your leisure (I'm looking at you, postmodernism; see {1} [wikipedia.org] , {2} [wikipedia.org] , and {3} [wikipedia.org] for reference).

Re:Hah (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272619)

My experience was that they were extremely good in 2001-2002 and have declined steadily since then.

I think the good ones must have either left the big indian contracting houses or been promoted.

The new guys say they can do anything and then fail to deliver.

The code they do deliver usually works- but would be hard to maintain and doesn't follow existing standards.

They used to be a lot better- so I assume demand outstripped supply. Or perhaps the really good ones are being billed out elsewhere at a higher rate.

Re:Hah (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272373)

Given that your willing to write off the population of an entire country on your limited anecdotal evidence, I have to wonder whether the people outsourcing the role knew they'd get incompetents, but at least the new incompetents would be cheaper.

Hey, how do you know his evidence is limited and anecdotal?

Maybe he knows everyone in India and just isn't very impressed with them!

-Taylor

Re:Hah (2, Funny)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272099)

Hah, I recall phoning Hewlett Packard's tech support line some years ago... After tediously explaining my problem to the indian bloke on the other end, he said "I'm sorry, I do not know very much about computers"

Apparently, HP's buzzword for outsourcing is 'innovation'.

Re:Hah (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272117)

How dare you ask something off-script!

Re:Hah (4, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272199)

Several of the Indians I work with are among the most talented, knowledgeable architects I've ever met.

What's your point?

Re:Hah (1)

Leafheart (1120885) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272449)

What's your point?

Bitterness

Re:Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272367)

it never ceases to amaze me how incompetent gringos are writing their own language.

you do know that principal and principle are two different words with two completely different meanings, right?

maybe you should try reading a book some day.

The next war (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28271917)

'We do the same thing with athletics here that they do with mathematics and science there.'

So long as the next war is fought with rubber balls on a carefully leveled surface, the US will do fine.

US Educational System (5, Funny)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271927)

Who knew that teaching kids that 1+1 can equal 3 as long as they feel good about themselves would turn out bad for us...

Re:US Educational System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272039)

What do you mean, 1+1 does equal 3 for large values of 1.

Re:US Educational System (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272049)

Red ink and being told you're wrong are very traumatizing events in a child's life.
Will someone PLEASE just think of the children!

Re:US Educational System (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272213)

OMG, please, no, don't remind me. I remember someone told me I was wrong once. It was dreadful. We should outlaw that sort of hate speech in America before it gets out of hand.

Re:US Educational System (3, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272707)

Spoken as somebody who has clearly never worked in education.

Classroom related anxieties are a genuine problem and this sort of blame the victim ideology has no place in schools. Trivializing this sort of thing just makes it more difficult on the students and teachers and unnecessarily drains talent which could otherwise be out looking for the cure to cancer or fixing other pressing concerns.

Re:US Educational System (2, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272227)

Who knew that teaching kids that 1+1 can equal 3 as long as they feel good about themselves would turn out bad for us...

Or that two billion years is only about 5000 God-years, and that "fact" is really a question of whose parents have a bigger voting block on the school board. And that canceling the band program in order to pay for the football stadium is really quite reasonable if you think about it.

Sputnik all over again...

PS. I know it's funny to crack about the whole self-esteem thing, but (1) I didn't pass thru the school system yesterday, but through the 90s I never knew anyone in school get an attaboy for getting a factual point wrong, wether it was English Lit or Calculus; and (2) there's nothing more useless than an engineer who never offers ideas because he always thinks he's wrong. People gotta have a minimal sense of entitlement otherwise they're sheep. I would hope the US produces engineers who are smart enough to do anything Chinese engineers can, and have enough independence and sense of their own rights to not just do what their "authorities" tell them unquestioningly, which is an unpleasant side-effect of certain kinds of top-down pedagogy.

Re:US Educational System (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272651)

It's a trade off.

a) Happy and ignorant but alive.

b) Happy and educated if you make the cut, otherwise unhappy but dead. (a lot of indians and japanese commit suicide each year ).

I think the days of America getting away with Happy and Ignorant but Alive are coming to an end.

Science Backgrounds (2, Interesting)

Niris (1443675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28271979)

Reminds me of an episode of Sliders where they treated the people who are good at math/science like athletic gods.

Anywho, I was just at a university graduation a couple weeks ago, and I swear there were about 150 graduates for Social Services and Psychology, and seven engineers/computer scientists/math majors graduating. Of course we're going to get our asses handed to us when we just aren't pushing those sort of programs here in the States.

athletes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28271991)

i thought it should read:

'We do the same thing with MacDonalds here that they do with mathematics and science there.'

the lesson: (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28271995)

Turn your back on learning and embrace anti-intellectualism? Enjoy falling behind.

Unfortunately America is getting screwed from both sides... the Republicans actively oppose education that isn't Jesus-centered, while the Democrats and their "Oh, everyone's a winner" crap make what education we do have a joke and create a disgusting sense of entitlement. I figure once China launches a manned moon mission it'll probably be the kick in the ass America needs to get back in gear, same as when the USSR launched Sputnik. Right now America's stalled but there's still time to reignite the engines.

Most nations don't have long once they stagnate, but America's got a hell of a lot of inertia behind it... I hope we don't throw the chance away.

Re:the lesson: (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272191)

In that light it would actually be worth it for China to stall its landing as long as its practical...

Somebody Set Up Us The Bomb! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272017)

Err.. I mean,,, The Code!

Oh really? (3, Interesting)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272019)

We do the same thing with athletics here that they do with mathematics and science there.

Oh really? What fraction of A-rod's salary is the top coder in China being paid?

Re:Oh really? (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272433)

I, being English, had no idea who A-rod is, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. I'd always considered an athlete to refer to people that do the sports that are played at Athletics Championships - you know, track and field, javelin, high jump, that sort of thing.

It seems that other people in the world have a different idea of that to me - who knew? :)

Gentlemen, it's time (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272037)

It's time for nerds to rise up yet again. Throughout modern history in the US, celebration of the nerd has resulted in unprecedented economic prosperity and global economic domination.

From the idolization of Einstein, Feynman, and other physicists, arose the economic superpower that dominated much of the world in the 1950s and 60s.

In the 80s, we were captivated by the message of Revenge of the Nerds, and on the shoulders of this movie we came to dominate the new era of Information.

Ladies, gentlemen: Now is the time. Now is the time to rise up from our comfy chairs, to rise up from our futons, to rise up from the depths of our basements! We must rise up as one united voice of nerd-dom, and speak to the mouthbreathers who have ground us beneath their bootheels since time immemorial. We must tell them:

ENOUGH! Take your stupid sports and shove them. Take your stupid pop music TV shows and shove them. Take your idolization of stupidity and sacrifice it on the altar of curiosity, the altar of edification, and the altar of neckbeards and cheetos!

WE MUST DEFEAT THE...

What's that mom? Yeah... OK... I'll be up for dinner as soon as I finish this level. Did you get some Mountain Dew?

Sorry, gotta go AFK.

Re:Gentlemen, it's time (1)

PoliticalGamer (1548891) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272105)

I thought that was why we were all on slashdot to begin with.

Re:Gentlemen, it's time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272215)

Einstein? Great bagels! But WTF does that have to do with science?

Why yes, I did attend public school.

Re:Gentlemen, it's time (3, Insightful)

Shooter28 (1564631) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272219)

Yes, and until that image of nerds/geeks is changed, we will continue to lag behind.

It's not "cool" to be smart, and so each generation grows up caring more about popularity than tackling the hard subjects and learning something worthwhile.

Far too many people cannot even function in society with the education they receive in high school, and we still give them diplomas.

Re:Gentlemen, it's time (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272485)

Yes, and until that image of nerds/geeks is changed, we will continue to lag behind.

It's not "cool" to be smart, and so each generation grows up caring more about popularity than tackling the hard subjects and learning something worthwhile.

Mmmm... I don't think the perception of "coolness" has anything to do with it. I think we're simply getting what we pay for. If the incentives of our schools are primarily based on producing high-quality athletes, then we will continue to get great athletes. If the incentives for our schools were to produce high quality mathematicians, engineers, and scientists, then we would get great mathematicians, engineers, and scientists.

What kind of compensation does a high school's football coach receive compared to the pay of it's academic teachers [statesman.com] ?
How do scholarships compare for Athletic Merit vs. Academic Merit [ed.gov] ?

Re:Gentlemen, it's time (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272543)

Whats interesting is in the high tech based society we have today, it really seems like nerds have the power just not any good use for it, and as such most do not go into a career into what they are really good at because of the negative undertones it has brought since we were kids.

Another thing (1)

anonymousNR (1254032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272071)

for over simplifying idiots who would draw conclusions and make stereotypes out of anything.

Question 1 (4, Funny)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272095)

Outline one method to gain access to NSA networks and provide code implementing the method. Bonus points for commented code.

Begin.

Athletics in America = ... (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272107)

... steroids and "performance enhancing" supplements. So by that line of logic, mathematics education outside of America = ???

Lots of meth and piracetium?

India had no finalists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272165)

That's because they had to drop out after getting jobs in the call center where the US has outsourced the unemployment hotline.

how of the people from china are gov backed? (0, Troll)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272177)

how of the people from china are gov backed? and are just doing it to say they beat the nsa?

Goddamn Chinks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28272235)

They are nothing more than Giant Douchebags!

Putting it on equal footing? (3, Insightful)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272239)

Saying 'We do the same thing with athletics here that they do with mathematics and science there.' is trying to put it all on a somewhat equal footing - "well, they're good at math, but we're as good at sports as they are at math!" Given that the Olympics were just a few months ago, it seems they also do the same thing with athletics as we do with athletics, but they also treat math and science with that highly competitive regard as well. It's all about competition, and we just don't treat math and science as competitively as we treat sports. Just look at what happens when we do treat education competitively - we get spelling bees with 5th and 6th graders who can out-spell 99% of English speakers of any age.

Difference between good coding and development (2, Interesting)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272261)

I often find that the applications coming from China and India to be poor. They are often ugly and hard to use.

I think we need to differentiate between being able to write an Algorithm and being able to produce something like ITunes.

Part of this is actually having talented designers and people who can come up with good specifications and use cases and everything else that goes into it.

These code tests rarely talk about coming up with a good application architecture or good design. Sure we need people writing device drivers, but we also need the higher level tasks done as well. I don't think they are represented well.

I often try the Google code challenge only to feel bored. I guess I don't really like solving "shortest path" type problems. I'm more about creating a data model, interface, and ultimately a tool with a good user expeirence. Something that solves a day to day task.

Maybe we should have application challenges where we say "write the easiest to use calculator" :)

Re:Difference between good coding and development (1)

semiotec (948062) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272477)

of course that's the case!

I feel so much better now. Do you feel better? Let's all feel good!

Who cares if we need quad-core CPU with 16 Gb just to watch movie, just give me a big shiny button to click on! Yeah, I just want one button, I don't care if all those stupid choices and selection and boxes to click. JUST ONE BIG BUTTON!

oohh... pretty button... don't you think it's so pretty? It makes me feel happy!

Re:Difference between good coding and development (1)

Leafheart (1120885) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272479)

I think we need to differentiate between being able to write an Algorithm and being able to produce something like ITunes.

You really think the code for iTunes is good? I seriously doubt it. Their design is clean and beautiful as for the code we cannot know. And really it doesn't matter how pretty it is. It most work, and work well for what it has to do (security, performance, etc)

Re:Difference between good coding and development (1)

n30na (1525807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272509)

Isn't that what an interface design competition is for? They're different things.

The NSA's job isnt to make pretty looking software, its security.

This happens in Toronto too (3, Interesting)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272423)

At one of the major youth mathematics competitions, Tournament of Towns, the award ceremony is 80% Chinese, 80% of the non-Chinese are Russian, and 80% of the remainder are Indian. It seems like a general pattern around here - look at any math competition top score list and you see Chinese names at the top.

Alternative hypothesis (0)

TheSync (5291) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272525)

The best American coders were busy working and making money, while Russian and Chinese coders had nothing better to do and were looking for better paying work due to the limits of economic freedom in both countries.

(Russia's economic freedom score is 50.8, China's is 53.2, US is 80.7).

Re:Alternative hypothesis (2)

n30na (1525807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272567)

Economic freedom based on what? Not questioning your logic, just wondering where those numbers are coming from.

Next contest ... (2)

ozbird (127571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272551)

... fix Slashdot's stylesheets. Seriously, WTF? First it was invisible titles on comments, now it's floating blocks.

Human nature? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272599)

Is it human nature to hate people who are smarter than you, and worship people who are more athletic than you? Or is that a US-only thing?

You can be a total cocky a-hole and still be super popular - if you're good at sports. But if you're good at, say, chess, you're screwed no matter what your personality is like.

At least that's how it seems to me. (born and raised in US).

Another possible reason (5, Interesting)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28272737)

It could just be that the US coders are no longer interested.

I used to compete in Topcoder. I made it to #2, I was in the top ten for over a year solid. Then I got a job at Google thanks to my Topcoder ranking. I joined a team that had a bunch of other ex-Topcoders in it and, as with them, determined pretty quickly that Topcoder just wasn't worth my time anymore.

Now, I don't know how many Chinese programmers got jobs through Topcoder, but I do know that the vast majority of the best Topcoder competitors in the US were hired by a surprisingly small set of companies. And, well, as cool as Topcoder is, if you sit down and look at dollars-per-hour . . . it's pretty crummy compared to a real job. Especially since they lowered all the prizes.

So, US coders do Topcoder, do well, get job, quit Topcoder because we get paid well. Chinese coders do Topcoder, do well, don't get job, don't quit Topcoder. Or they do Topcoder, do well, get job, don't quit Topcoder because they're not yet being paid well enough.

Doesn't surprise me in the least.

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