student teams working in computer labFour teams from the UWindsor School of Computer Science competed in the International Collegiate Programming Contest.

Computer science celebrating “triumphant” return to programming contest

UWindsor undergraduate students joined their North American counterparts online in high-pressure competition during the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) in February.

Four teams from the School of Computer Science participated in the five-hour East Central North American regional competition, comprised of 97 teams from 32 universities.

“There are three people on each team, and they have five hours to solve 10 to 14 problems with one computer and no internet,” says Saeed Samet, professor of computer science and competition organizer. “These are real-world problems that are difficult to solve. You have to be very talented to solve them.

“We train them on strategy and ways to overcome pressure and stress and work as a team.”

The team called Magenta ranked 35th and overall, the UWindsor teams ranked fifth out of the nine Canadian universities.

Ziad Kobti, director of the School of Computer Science, calls it a triumphant return to the event.

“I am very proud of our teams and coaches,” says Dr. Kobti. “I look forward to continuing engagement and training to help advance the competitive spirit among our students as we compete at an international scale.”

This year’s competition was held completely online, but Dr. Samet hopes next year UWindsor can physically host universities from Eastern Ontario.

“This is a big opportunity for the undergraduates to learn problem-solving, team working skills and how to solve problems under pressure in a limited time,” says Samet.

“The students can add their involvement to their CVs and this experience will help put them in better standing for better jobs after graduation.”

The full list of final ECNA standings is available on the contest website.

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