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SICE students record best-ever finish at ICPC East Central North America Regional contest

2018-12-04
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Three students from the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering took home third place at their site and finished 16th overall from among 135 teams in the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) East Central North America Regional in early November.

Computer science majors Scott Dauer, Andrew Matthies, and Wei Zhang solved three problems to record IU’s best-ever finish in the event, which features teams from 50 colleges and universities from throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, eastern Ontario, and Indiana. The ICPC East Central North America Regional was held at four sites, including Cincinnati, Allendale, Michigan, Windsor, Ontario, and Youngstown, Ohio.

“The problems in this year’s competition were tougher than in previous year, and the students did quite well,” said Yuan Zhou, an assistant professor at SICE and one of the co-coaches for the team along with fellow assistant professor Yan Huang. “We’re really proud of the team, and we’re excited for the future. Scott has a chance to compete next year, and we’re hopeful we can achieve a better result with more experienced contestants.”

Students were given five hours to solve as many problems as possible out of a list of 10 problems. Groups were judged by the total number of problems solved correctly. The total time needed to solve each problem from the start of the competition served as a tiebreaker.

“Participating in the ICPC East Regional helped me learn to collaborate closely on code and implementation with my teammates, and taught me my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the areas areas of algorithms and data structures,” Dauer said. “Competing built my confidence in my ability as a programmer and collaborator.”

Zhou said the impact of the ICPC competition will be felt for the competitors well into the future.

“The training and participation experience in ICPC is very rewarding, especially when it comes to job or Ph.D. applications,” Zhou said. “ICPC experience helps to build a strong resume. World-renowned tech companies, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft appreciate job applicants with programming contest experience, and competitors get a chance to network with and learn from each other, which could create connections for the future.”

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Ken Bikoff
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kbikoff@indiana.edu