WashU Engineering students win big at coding event

Six Engineering students from Washington University in St. Louis placed in the top 20 in a recent computer coding event for female engineering students.

Alicia Sun finished third overall at the recent Codess Code Hunt competition.

The School of Engineering & Applied Science students made up 30 percent of the top 20 winners in the Oct. 9 Codess – Code Hunt event, sponsored by Microsoft Research. Alicia Sun, who is in her final year of the BS/MS program in computer science with a minor in applied macroeconomics, placed third overall in the competition with a score of 155, just one point shy of the top score.

Codess Code Hunt is an educational gaming platform for coding contests and practicing programming skills. Players have three hours to work out the pattern and code the answer. The winner of the Codess Challenge is the student who produces the best possible answers in the shortest time.

The other WashU Engineering students in the top 20 were:

  • Kunyao Liu, a junior majoring in applied science (computer science) and math, placed 7th overall;
  • Suyeon Kang, a junior majoring in applied science (computer science) and math, placed 10th overall;
  • Xiran Liu, a sophomore majoring in systems science & engineering and computer science, placed 11th overall;
  • Michelle Yuan, a junior majoring in finance, computer science and Chinese language and culture, placed 13th overall; and
  • Jeanine Burke, a junior majoring in math and computer science, placed 19th overall.

The top three students receive prizes, and the top 20 receive Skype gift cards and certificates for their performance.


The School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis focuses intellectual efforts through a new convergence paradigm and builds on strengths, particularly as applied to medicine and health, energy and environment, entrepreneurship and security. With 88 tenured/tenure-track and 40 additional full-time faculty, 1,300 undergraduate students, more than 900 graduate students and more than 23,000 alumni, we are working to leverage our partnerships with academic and industry partners — across disciplines and across the world — to contribute to solving the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.