Dr. Kevin Hamlen, a professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Dallas, set a new world record at Elite Dangerous. He flew from Earth to the most remote colony of people in the game faster than the rest of the participants in the competition. Then he did it again, breaking his own record. Extensive programming knowledge helped this man.
Hamlen created an algorithm that not only calculated the shortest path from point A to point B, but also took into account quick refueling methods, as well as other aspects of the gameplay of the space simulator Elite Dangerous. As a result, the program needed to analyze 1.3 million neutron stars, which the professor used as intermediate points. He noted that he taught students how to solve such problems using graph theory, which he used when writing code. The teacher went the resulting route together with his 6-year-old son Will, who acted as a navigator.
On the first attempt, the professor overcame 22 thousand light years in 1 hour 38 minutes and 11 seconds of real time. He surpassed the previous best result by 17 minutes and 21 seconds – previously a player held the record under the nickname Commander St4r Fox. Later, Kevin Hamlen slightly updated the route creation algorithm and completed the flight even faster – in 1 hour and 29 minutes.