MIT Programming Team

MIT has a BattleCode programming competition, (which reminds me of Robowar, the reason I didn’t have a high-school social life). This year, [at least] one of the teams was a group of xkcd readers — Nicole, Bobby, and Jessica. They are fun people who I actually had the pleasure of meeting briefly while visiting Boston a while back. Their team was called “If You Die in Canada, You Die in Real Life.”

They didn’t win the competition. But they did win “best team name”.

48 thoughts on “MIT Programming Team

  1. You don’t happen to know of any RTS AI programming game that is open to everyone? I love Robowar, but it’s becoming a bit dull because of the lack of options.

  2. Battlecode is open to everybody for scrimmaging. The main competition is limited to Boston-area colleges, though.

  3. I think it’s safe to say that anyone going anywhere in high technology reads this comic. The damn dean of CMU CS makes xkcd jokes in all venues from public speaking to private conferences. It shows up on exams and homework assignments with great regularity, not to mention building facades.

    Welcome to the meme.

  4. I’m an MIT undergrad, and I totally remember this team name. Many of my friends on hall were in 6.370 (the competition you’re talking about), and I remember them telling me about this.

    I also hear you’re coming to MIT soon? When is this? I’m definitely showing up! Sometime in April, I think people I know who are organizing this have told me, yes?

  5. Being featured in the xkcd blag >>>>> winning 1st place

    Olin college of engineering = obsessed with xkcd. No really, like, the entire student body.

  6. Hey, thanks for spotlighting us! I think that using “If You Die in Canada You Die in Real Life” is one of the best decisions my team ever made, and I wasn’t even there when they decided (though they know that I’m a hardcore xkcd fan, so it was obvious that I’d approve). Oh yeah, and it was really cool meeting you when you came to visit last fall – perhaps moreso because I had no idea that you were such an internet celebrity; I didn’t really figure that out until rather recently. ^_^

    Oh, and that other guy in the picture (the one who isn’t me, Bobby, or Jessica) is Josh – he was on our team too, though I think he did more documentation/write-up stuff than actual coding, it doesn’t really matter – the prize was for our naming skills. :-)

  7. Ah, code-jockeys… when will you learn that English majors get all the girls?

  8. I’m an MIT freshman and I think the girl on the far left of the photo is an 8.02 TA for L02. Can anyone confirm that?

  9. Damn, Allison, that’s pretty harsh towards English majors… but I must admit, it’s the only reason I’m doing engineering.

    *waits for off-putting comment about how Yankees fans can’t get girls anyway*

  10. If that’s the only reason you’re doing engineering, you need to rethink your priorities, Larry – besides, you already have a girlfriend; I don’t think she would dump you if you suddenly became an English major… actually, does MIT even *have* English majors?* ^_^

    Eh, I’m just stalling to postpone Allison’s “off-putting comment about how Yankees fans can’t get girls anyway”.

    *Yeah, I know we have Literature – but I don’t know if you can actually get a degree that says “English” on it.

    …and to Gaston, yes I am your TA. Hi!!!!

  11. “Ah, code-jockeys… when will you learn that English majors get all the girls?”

    Yep. We get the girls and we also ARE the girls.

  12. As a former humanities major who surrounded herself with comp sci majors and now works with a bunch of engineers… my soul is grey.

    But I’ve got plenty of money, so it pretty much works out.

  13. Ah, economics. The social science that the ladies love, and the math that I do, together at last.

    Gosh, I wish there were girls in my econ classes.

  14. Hmmm… Loathe as I am to admit it, Paul may have a point. As a code-jockey, I never got many girls. Working my way round the world at backpackers hostels and bars was better for me in that regard.

    I think it’s the blatant anti-social element of staying up 36 hours straight, glued to a CRT (or even a flatscreen, nowadays), munching on high-sugar/low-nutrition snacks, carpalling your life away. For a while I dreamt and occasionally talked in C. This may have been off-putting.

    Are English majors inherently more attractive, though? I think not. I believe it’s all about the more frequent opportunities for social contact in their later career, although I imagine it is a challenge to make “Would you like fries with that?” into a successful pick-up line. :)

  15. Heh… I am an English major… who is an Engineer. I’ll get my MS in about three months. I must get ALL the girls.

    (Actually, in a strange twist of fate, I got only one girl. But she was the best one.) ;-)

  16. English and Engineeering are for the loss. Language Science is what’s up! Linguistics ftw! (Except Computational Linguists – nobody likes them)

  17. Larson, you can go to the store at

    and I think I may be a little out of my league. I’m a sophomore in high school, so, can someone please explain some of the stuff you are talking about
    (lol, ignorance about college, don’t you love it?)

  18. Pah, all these majors pale in comparison to Criminal Justice. English majors get all the girls, Engineers marry them, cops and lawyers put both of them in jail and collect the remains like a vulture.

    Although, that was my major and now I’m working for a software company doing nothing law related. I’ve got lots of entertaining stories, though… Like this one time, I was on patrol with a SWAT officer…

  19. HOLA!

    Well….I major in eyebrow design. And I also really like raisins. What does my romantic future hold besides facial tattoos and mildly amusing comments about humiliated grapes?
    ps – I’m glad xkcd is coming to MIT – YAY LSC!


  20. I know where you sleep (and how your door does not have proper anti-paper sealing). Don’t think that information isn’t valuable.

  21. HOLA!

    go make the server of awesome more awesome and stop stalking me you course 6 weirdo. :P :D Have you found something awesome that the switch of awesome can switch on?


  22. I’m in the U.S. Army. I’m really hope there are female camels in Iraq.

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  24. I think it’s safe to say that anyone going anywhere in high technology reads this comic. The damn dean of CMU CS makes xkcd jokes in all venues from public speaking to private conferences. It shows up on exams and homework assignments with great regularity, not to mention building facades.

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  27. A programming team is a team of people who develop or maintain computer software.They may be organised in numerous ways, but the egoless programming team and chief programmer team are two common structures typically used

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