Topcoder, Booz Allen and Red Hat bring the Best Coders in the World to D.C. for the ‘Super Bowl’ of Crowdsourcing Competitions

Dec 16, 2016 2:00 PM ET

The world’s best coders, programmers, designers and data scientists recently gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 2016 Topcoder Open (TCO) finals, the last round in a prestigious international competition hosted by Topcoder, a crowdsourcing community with more than one million members. From November 19-21, 60 competitors from 26 countries gathered in Booz Allen’s Innovation Center to compete in six different events: algorithm, User Interface (UI) design, UI prototype, marathon, first-to-finish, and development.

Crowdsourcing competitions of this scale bring attention to some of the world’s most pressing problems while effectively and efficiently providing tangible solutions for exacting change. A couple of the solutions generated by the TCO competitors, include:  a data visualization platform for train dispatchers to enable real-time traffic analysis and risk detection, and a map of flight paths and no fly zones usable by drones

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Challenges Topcoder Community
Booz Allen, Red Hat and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put crowdsourcing to work to solve tough social problems, running a “megahack” challenge that asked the Topcoder community to build a search function to  enable more efficient searches of EPA rulemakings under the Clean Air Act (CAA). In only 72 hours, 86 megahack registrants submitted 24 solutions across 11 countries. The EPA challenge culminated in the completion of a minimally viable open source product that can help concerned citizens better navigate and understand specific CAA regulations.

Businesses and government discuss enterprise-scale crowdsourcing

At the closing day, Booz Allen and Topcoder convened leaders to share best practices and challenges in building enterprise-scale crowdsourcing organizations, including blending the key insights of government and industry. Speakers included:

  • Dr. David Bray, Chief Information Officer, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Ammar Qusaibaty, Technical Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), Sunshot (a crowdsourcing project on solar energy)
  • Lynn Buquo, Prizes and Challenges Program Director, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Nic Perez, Chief Technologist, Crowd and Innovation Services at Booz Allen
  • Lisa Ralph, Marketing and Innovation Programs Manager, General Electric

The Results

The event brought the eyes of the innovation and crowdsourcing world to D.C. to test the boundaries of what is possible in the federal sector, and  builds on another successful partnership between Booz Allen and Topcoder.

The winners of the #TCO16 finals were:

  • Algorithm: Makoto Soejima, rng_58 from Japan
  • UI Design: Junius Albertho, adedavera from Indonesia
  • First2Finish: Xu Jun, vvvpig from China
  • Marathon: Przemysław Debiak, Psyho from Poland
  • UI Prototype: Mouly Gunarathne, moulyg from Sri Lanka
  • Development: Łukasz Sentkiewicz, Sky_ from Poland

The winners of the EPA megahack challenge were:

  • Architecture: pvmagacho from Brazil
  • Frontend Development: Jarnanchen from China
  • UI Design: ravijune from India
  • Integration Contest: Akinwale from Nigeria
  • XML Parser, Node.JS Backend + API Integration, and First to Finish Web Annotation: Sky_ from Poland

This year’s TCO finals attracted sponsors from across the technology and startup communities, including Booz Allen, Cisco, Google, Blizzard Entertainment, WorldQuant, GE, Red Hat and Docker.

Since 2013, Booz Allen and Topcoder have combined to run several crowdsourcing challenges. To learn more, visit the TCO website.

To learn more about Booz Allen’s work as a cutting-edge innovator, visit the Booz Allen Strategic Innovation Group website.