PM Lee shows off coding skill, and captures the world's imagination

PM Lee shows off coding skill, and captures the world's imagination
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong posted on Facebook on May 4, 2015, the source code of a Sudoku solver that he wrote "several years ago".

SINGAPORE - The source code of a simple Sudoku solver has apparently captured the imagination of the world, with many news outlets reporting the reveal yesterday. The author of the code? Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

In a speech to launch the Founders Forum Smart Nation Singapore on April 20, Mr Lee had mentioned that the last computer program that he wrote "was a Sudoku solver in C++ several years ago".

On Monday, Mr Lee posted on Facebook the source code of that computer program, saying that someone had asked him for the program.

Mr Lee said in his post that the "program is pretty basic" and goes on to describe what it does. He also asked the public to let him know if they "find any bugs!"

Mr Lee's reveal was reported not only by The Straits Times, but also picked up by international media like BBC, the Wall Street Journal and Britain's Skynews. Many tech-centric news outlets, like Gizmodo, Ars Technica, ZDNet and Geek also picked up the news.

Mr Lee's post on Facebook has garnered over 42,000 likes and has been shared over 14,600 times so far.

Most people were pleasantly surprised by Mr Lee's revelation that he codes.

However, some people on the Internet has pointed out that the revelation should not come as a big surprise, as Mr Lee was actually the Senior Wrangler (top mathematics undergraduate) at Cambridge's Trinity College in 1973 - and graduated in 1974 with first class honours in mathematics and a Diploma in Computer Science (with distinction).

sinsh@sph.com.sg

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