The facebook Hacker Cup is an annual facebook programming competition where hackers compete against each other for fame, fortune, glory and a shot at the coveted Hacker Cup. A few of the software engineers here at OMGPOP decided to participate in this year’s Hacker Cup. The qualification round had three questions, each with varying difficulty and methodology. Each of us from OMGPOP that participated met the requirements to continue on past the qualification round, and after seeing the scoreboard [link] our eyes lit up as if we were presented with a fourth question.
Out of 98,348 people who RSVP’d for the Qualification Round [link] only 5,846 qualified to continue. That’s a lot less than any of us expected. What stood out most is only 527 correctly answered each of the questions. That’s only 0.54% of the initial group! We then wondered: What noteworthy analytical data can be inferred from the scoreboard of the qualification round? This would be our fourth question.
We started by extracting as much authoritative data as possible from the scoreboard. In the true fashion of facebook (or at least the film the social network), we simply curl’d each scoreboard page and parsed out the following tid bits of information:
- image url
- p1 (problem 1: correct/incorrect)
p1/p2/p3 refers to questions 1/2/3. correct means they had a check in that column, and incorrect means they had a dash (note: incorrect may mean they did not submit an answer).
image url refers to the profile picture shown between the rank and name. The example for me (cwh) would be: “http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/hs714.ash1/161268_8802104_6084533_q.jpg”
which is: (flower in my ear was from peer pressure)
What’s interesting is that you can determine my facebook user id from that image url, my facebook user id is 8802104 (see it in the url above?). This is where this question became fun. Rather than just stop there, we used facebook’s graph api to gain a few more pieces of data (this is public information) based on each user’s facebook id:
- locale (country)
We put all the data together, and came up with some interesting analytical charts.
Hacker Cup Qualifiers Avg Rank by Country [link]
Here is the averaging ranking of countries for the hacker cup. In red shows the average rank, and in white is the number of participants in that category. Some questions that come to mind… has china surpassed the US? Has communism beat democracy? Of note is that Estonia now has a stable internet connection, and even the Vatican brought its blessed coders to the challenge.
Hacker Cup Qualifiers Gender by Correct Answers [link]
Here’s a breakdown of how each gender did on each question. P1 refers to the first problem, P2 to the second problem, etc. We looked into the lone female who got just problem 2 correct, and posted her picture on here for novelty and viewing pleasure (however, there are rumors that maybe a friend submitted through this account).
Hacker Cup Qualifiers Gender Breakdown [link]
Most people who qualified were guys. Nuff said. The first female appears around rank 70ish according to the data.
Hacker Cup Qualifiers average facebook id [link]
No matter what anyone tells you, how big your facebook id is matters. This graph proves it, definitively (and arbitrarily).
facebook id vs. hackercup qualifying rank [link]
The above chart and next are just looking at the distribution of the users facebook ids and how well they did. While this may not be interesting from a hacker cup perspective, you can notice the apparent ‘gaps’ between users facebook ids. Probably, facebook decided at some point (maybe coinciding with the move to use big-ints as ids instead of integers) that ‘all new users ids should start at 1,000,000,000’. Then, looking at the next picture (and after significant Facebook growth) they did this again at around 100,000,000,000,000.
for people with large facebook ids [link]
Hacker Cup Qualifiers Avg Rank by Gender [link]
In this graph, we have an arbitrary trend line on a bar graph that hints somehow that if your gender cannot be gleaned from the graph api OR you didn’t have a public photo, that your average rank is lower than that if you are a male or a female. Another way of saying this is that if your gender is somehow ambiguous, that you have super facebook hacking powers — data doesn’t lie.
OMGPOP is the best place to play fun multiplayer games online, for free. We have a diverse portfolio of games, both on our own platform and on Facebook, and develop them all in-house.
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