Kadin Tang Makes Top 25 in World’s Largest Coding Competition

by | May 16, 2024 | Awards and Achievements, Featured

Kadin Tang, third from bottom right, with other Top 25 students on Gala Night, before the final competition. Photo courtesy of Kadin Tang. 

Earlier this spring, Kadin Tang, ’24 Computer Science, achieved something remarkable. 

He took part in the TCS CodeVita 2024 — which is recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as one of the largest coding competitions in the world — and made it into the top 25 out of 112,000 students.  

TCS CodeVita is organized annually by an international tech company known as Tata Consultancy Services, giving college students the opportunity to demonstrate their coding skills and compete for the title of “World’s Best Coder.” 

Kadin Tang

Kadin Tang, ’24 Computer Science, made it into the Top 25 in the TCS CodeVita 2024 competition. Photo courtesy of Kadin Tang.

Tang made it through two of the competition’s three rounds. He finished second place in the second round, which qualified him for the finals. 

“I didn’t expect to make the finals, so that was a pretty great moment,” says Tang.  

Computer programming has been one of his hobbies since his senior year of high school. Back then, he loved to participate in math competitions, often losing himself in the solving of challenging problems. He started to realize that the skill sets that he honed in high school transferred nicely into computer programming. 

By the time he graduated, Tang had become quite a proficient programmer. He learned several programming languages and went on to gain valuable internship experience at places like Google and TikTok. 

“Programming is very powerful. You can use the computation of computers to solve difficult questions,” says Tang. “It’s a very beautiful ability and skill to have.” 

The SJSU Experience

When it came time to go to college, Tang didn’t hesitate to choose SJSU.

“My parents and I knew that the computer science program at SJSU was renowned for its excellence,” says Tang. “It was close to home and provided great ties to Silicon Valley. For that reason, I decided on SJSU.” 

During his first year, he became a computer programmer on the university’s International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) team, where students work together to solve programming problems and take part in competitions. 

Over the last few years, Tang has gotten to know other students on SJSU’s programming team. 

“I’ve met some remarkable people,” says Tang. “I have so many great memories with the team and grew a lot as a programmer. It’s an amazing program.”  

Tang also started entering other programming contests. 

“Some months back, I received an SJSU email mentioning TCS CodeVita. So I registered to see how far I could go,” he says. “I didn’t expect a single email to lead to such a remarkable journey.”   

Going to the World Finals  

Achieving top 25 in the TCS CodeVita was one of the highlights of Tang’s university experience. 

This past March, he flew out to Mumbai, India to compete in the final round against 24 other students from countries all over the world. Tang and one other student from Columbia University were the only United States citizens who had made the cut. 

It was Tang’s first time traveling alone internationally, and he found the journey to India exhausting, with a 16-hour flight and a layover in Delhi. 

Upon arrival, he was given an all-inclusive tour of Mumbai, which included the Prince of Wales Museum, TCS Banyan Park and an unforgettable yacht trip.

Tang and the other 24 students competed in the TCS Olympus Building, located in the heart of Thane, India. The final competition was six hours long with 10 challenging questions spanning graph theory, dynamic programming, cubology and computational geometry. In the end, Martin Andrighetti from Chile came out ahead as the first place winner.

After the competition was over, Tang and the other students bonded by exploring the outskirts of Mumbai, going for dinner, swimming in the hotel pool and playing different games.

Although Tang didn’t walk away from the finals with a win, he believes that it was all worth it.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Tang. “I met the most talented programmers. It was a very humbling adventure. And to get to meet students from different universities to share our values and culture together, it was a wonderful and surreal experience. I’m very proud I got to represent SJSU on an international scale”

After another summer interning at Google, Tang will enter Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in fall 2024 to pursue his Master’s in computer science, with a focus on machine learning and algorithms.

Tang was recently named as one of this year’s Outstanding Graduating Senior Award recipients, and will be recognized during commencement.