College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

UKZN Computer Science students (from left) Ms Nadia Naidoo, Ms Esther Dzitiro, and Ms Angeline Pillay (far right). Seen with the team is Professor Serestina Viriri (second right).

UKZN All Women’s Team Excels at National Computer Science Contest

An all women UKZN team of third-year Computer Science students participated in the Entelect Coding Challenge University Cup and was placed first in KwaZulu-Natal and seventh nationally.

The UKZN team, which competed under the name: Femme Fatale, comprised Ms Angeline Pillay, Ms Esther Dzitiro and Ms Nadia Naidoo. The three competed against participants from universities across the country in attempting to solve a challenging optimisation problem that required strong problem solving and programming skills, creativity and ingenuity.

The Entelect Challenge University Cup is a one-day hackathon hosted by technology company Entelect IT, in which teams of students from across the country are tasked with solving a coding problem. This unique initiative was created specifically for students as their academic schedules often preclude them from participating in the main challenge.

Femme Fatale hopes that their outstanding achievement will serve, in the spirit of Women’s Month, to encourage and inspire young women, especially in STEM fields.

Academic Leader of Computer Science at UKZN, Professor Serestina Viriri, congratulated the team, commending them on their achievement. Viriri echoed the sentiment of team members in hoping their feat inspires young women to enter the STEM fields of study and to also continue their studies in Computer Science.

Words: Anban Pillay

Photograph: Supplied