- Eric T. Lin (UIUC) - my first programmer at the University of Illinois Beckman Institute, c. 1996; could code circles around nearly anyone at K-State: once produced a program containing 4000 lines of functional C++ code in a 3-day period
- Peter Baer (UIUC) - a visualization guru; went to Microsoft as a summer intern, later joined MS full-time and rose up through the ranks in Test and Direct3D
- Dave Kruse (UIUC) - excellent all-around programmer; after a brief detour to an MMORPG startup, went to MS as well
- Yu Pan (UIUC) - one of the co-founders of PayPal (with Max Levchin and Luke Nosek, who was also one of my students)
- Nathan Gettings (UIUC) - computational math whiz, financial math genius; now a senior manager at eBay.PayPal
- Mike Perry (NCSA) - owner of fscked.org and a rather well-known ace hacker
- Laura Kruse (KSU) - aka Blur, the person from whom I assimilated (more) sheer hyperness
- Dr. Steve Gustafson (KSU) - just got his Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham
- Dr. Haipeng Guo (KSU) - now a visiting scholar (soon to be a visiting assistant professor) at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Julie Thornton (KSU) - 2002 Goldwater scholar, CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Runner-Up of 2003 (for which she beat out dozens of students from Stanford, CMU, MIT, and Harvard), NSF Graduate fellow
- zengeneral (KSU) - incredibly prolific; the lead programmer of BNJ v3
Besides these fine people, I also worked with jellybeanzulu, who was a research programmer for a colleague of mine at the time (1998-1999, when we were all at NCSA).
I can honestly say I am humbled by the amount of sheer talent that has come out of my labs.
I would characterize most of the above, without derogation, as "coding machines", including, but not limited to, the undergrads. They are just head and shoulders above students of similar experience. Furthermore, they enrich our program: I can honestly say that my current crop of students (including masaga) and I are made better programmers by zengeneral's positive influence.
(My coding machine story to go here.)