The Narrative Fallacy writes: "With about 4,200 people participating in a US National Security Agency-supported international competition on everything from writing algorithms to designing components, 20 of the 70 finalists were from China, 10 from Russia and two from the US. China's showing in the finals was helped by the sheer volume of its numbers, 894. India followed at 705, but none of its programmers were finalists. Russia had 380 participants; the United States, 234; Poland, 214; Egypt, 145; and Ukraine, 128, among others. Participants in the TopCoder Open was open to anyone — from student to professional — through a process of elimination that finished this month in Las Vegas. Previous TopCoder winner Jiazhi Wu says TopCoder's contests mesh well with the mentality of young Chinese developers, who appreciate the spirit of competition. "I'm not good at sports at all, so programming was the most competitive aspect of my life," says Wu. Rob Hughes, president and COO of TopCoder, says the strong finish by programmers from China, Russia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere is indicative of the importance those countries put on mathematics and science education. "We do the same thing with athletics here that they do with mathematics and science there.""
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