The best way to win a programming competition is to work as a team, except when it’s not.
The inaugural School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering Programming Competition was held April 20 bringing together 24 teams of graduates and undergraduates to tackle seven problems in a four-hour time period. Three teams took home top honors, with two of the teams consisting of a single person.
The graduate division saw two teams of computer science students tie for the top spot by answering six of the seven questions. The team of Changchang Ding and Ruiyu Zhu—together known as “archangcc”—was matched by Ph.D. student Erfan Azer, a solo competitor who competed under the name “turkProqramci.”
The undergraduate division saw two teams of computer science majors answer three of the seven problems correctly, but Scott Dauer, another single competitor, came out on top thanks to a tie-breaker that rewarded fewer time penalties. The team “tim_wang1026,” consisting of Zicheng Wang, Haoyu Shi, and Zhongyu Yang, took home second place.
“We’re really happy to see so many SICE students excited about taking part in this competition,” said Yan Huang, an assistant professor at SICE and one of the organizers of the event. “The teams were really determined, even though most of them were first-time participants in a contest like this. There was a lot of enthusiasm surrounding the event, and I congratulate everyone who took part.”
Teams were ranked according to the most problems solved. Teams that solved the same number of problems were ranked by the least total time needed to solve the problems. A 20-minute penalty was imposed for submitting incorrect solutions to a team of judges, and only the elapsed time needed to solve a problem correctly was counted. No time was consumed for problems that were not solved.
The top woman competitor, data science graduate student Yue Guo, solved three problems while working as a solo competitor.
Members of the winning teams won a Raspberry Pi.
The contest was sponsored by Indiana-based logistics company Blue Horseshoe, and every team that participated in the event solved at least one problem.
“This has been a great experience,” said Amr Sabry, the chair of the computer science program. “I hope it will mark the start of a new tradition. A huge thank you to everyone who helped organize the competition, and congratulations to all who participated.”