Two Indian American students will travel to Japan next month to take part in the world finals of a computing contest known as "The Battle of the Brains".
Anand Bhaskar, Nitin Gupta and their batchmate Michael Cheng of Cornell University qualified for the Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest in October last year, according to the Cornell Daily Sun newspaper.
The contest fosters creativity, teamwork and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure.
The contest pits teams against eight or more complex, real world problems, with a gruelling five-hour deadline. Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance.
Teammates collaborate to rank the difficulty of the problems, deduce the requirements, design test beds and build software systems that solve the problems under the intense scrutiny of expert judges.
Other requirements include a sound knowledge and understanding of advanced algorithms. Judging is relentlessly strict.
"Qualifying in America is generally not as hard as competing in Europe and Asia, where there are very hard teams to compete against," Bhaskar said.
"I don't speak any Japanese, so I'm a bit nervous about that. I would like to pay a visit to Mt Fuji," Bhaskar added.
In all, 85 teams are expected to take part in the finals. Awards, prizes, big scholarships will be at stake for some of the world's finest university students of the computing sciences and engineering.
The competition will be held in Tokyo.