Tianyi Zhu Participates in Competition, Reports from Israel
March 31, 2016
We’re off to Israel! Our whole team is now on the plane to Los Angeles, ready to takeoff. We’ll then fly directly to Tel Aviv. The flight is about fourteen hours. Our safe for the competition was disassembled into separate components and put into two carry-on suitcases.
April 1, 2016
We walked to the beach near the hotel, enjoyed the coastal view, and looked for local Israeli food. Most local restaraunts were already closed because of Sabbath. We finished writing the final submission of our design ideas at the hotel and started to re-assemble the safe box.
April 2, 2016
Today we had a bike trip around the city of Tel Aviv. We visited the square where Israeli Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated. In the afternoon, we went to the port city of Caesarea, an important strategic harbor. We continued to work on the safe at the hotel and made it fully functional.
April 3, 2016
The whole safe-building and problem-solving process yesterday took about six hours and we didn’t go to sleep until after 2:00 local time. Right now, I’m on the bus to the Holy City of Jerusalem, where we’ll have a tasting tour in the local food market before going to the Weizmann Institute.
April 4, 2016
We toured the Weizmann Institute, which is dedicated for research in basic sciences like math and physics. Fmr. Israeli president and Zionist leader Weizmann founded it. We had some issues with our safe, but we came up with a better solution using backup materials.
April 5, 2016
Today we had an intense competition day of safe-cracking where teams tried to crack each other’s safes in ten minutes. I was responsible for ‘guarding’ the safe: resetting our safe and demonstrating the right way to crack it.
The competition result is based on how many times each safe is cracked and expert judges. We cracked two of six safes; our safe was cracked two of nine times. We had a good time even though the rules were not well-defined.
April 6, 2016
After seeing a lot of other teams’ safes, our safe was not as impressive as others’ safes in terms of design and functionality. But in the closing ceremony in the afternoon, our team was thrilled to receive the fourth plaze prize in the international competition! Our team would go on to visit the Dead Sea, the Old City of Jerusalem, and other tourist attractions in Israel.
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