Home Facebook Announces Hacker Cup Competition

Facebook Announces Hacker Cup Competition

Facebook has announced its 2011 Hacker Cup, a competition in the search of a world champion hacker. For those that are already weary of the narrative we’ve been hearing the last week-and-a-half – that hackers are suddenly posing this grave threat to national security, national pride, holiday shopping, what have you – maybe this will prove a better image. “Hackers solving algorithms” seems less threatening than “hackers launching DDoS attacks.”

Facebook’s Hacker Cup will ask competitors to solve a number of algorithmic-based problem statements quickly and correctly. There will be 3 rounds, and the 25 hackers making it to the end will be flown to Facebook headquarters for the final round of competition.

The prizes include $5,000 USD and title as “world champion” for the top hacker, $2,000 for 2nd place, $1,000 for 3rd, and $100 for the rest of the top 25.

Registration opens December 20 and the first round will take place in early January where competitors will have 72 hours to work on 3 algorithmic problems.

Sure, it’s always dangerous to make sweeping generalizations based on the comments to a Facebook announcement. But some of the misconceptions about hacking that are posted there make it pretty clear that plenty of folks still see hackers in terms of their capacity for destruction, not problem-solving. So it’s good to see Facebook to continue to assert that hacking is central to its culture, and to now frame that in terms of a problem-solving competition.

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