Students Making an Impact

ICPC Programming Gold for EECS Team!

In a process of pure wits–solving a semester’s worth of real-world computer problems in five hours, this year’s MIT team for the IBM sponsored Association for Computing Machinery, ACM, International Collegiate Programming Contest, ICPC, held in Alberta Canada, placed second overall, winning gold medal standing and first place in North America.

In its 32nd year, the ICPC, also known as the “Battle of the Brains” started with regional competitions in the fall, 2007, paring down from 6,100 teams representing 1,821 universities from 83 countries, to 90 teams for the finals held April 6-10. EECS Professor Martin Rinard, the MIT faculty coordinator for the effort, reported: “We did well throughout the contest and were in first place for some of the time. We were also the only non-Russian [other than the Ukrainian] team in the top five.” (First place winner overall came from Russia’s Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics).

MIT/EECS team members included freshman Bohua Zhan, Andrew Lutomirski, graduate student in physics, and Xuancheng Shao, junior in EECS and mathematics (pictured above in that order as they competed).

MIT/EECS team coached by EECS faculty member Martin Rinard included freshman Bohua Zhan, Andrew Lutomirski, graduate student in physics, and Xuancheng Shao, junior in EECS and mathematics (pictured above in that order as they competed).

MIT/EECS team members included freshman Bohua Zhan, Andrew Lutomirski, graduate student in physics, and Xuancheng Shao, junior in EECS and mathematics (pictured above in that order as they competed). Student coaches included Jelani Nelson, graduate student in EECS/CSAIL (advisor EECS Professor Erik Demaine), Ivaylo Riskov, EECS senior, and Zoran Dzunic, EECS/CSAIL graduate student (advisor EECS Professor Regina Barzilay).

MIT will be sending two 3-person teams to an ICPC preliminary contest being co-organized by Brown, Harvard, and Tufts on October 18th. At most one MIT team can advance from that contest to a regional contest for all of Northeast North America (including parts of Canada), to be held at the Rochester Institute of Technology on November 1st. Typically the top two teams from that regional contest then advance to the world finals. The upcoming world finals will be on April 21st, 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden.

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