CMU Programming Team Places Top in the U.S., Second in North America
Tuesday, June 13, 2023 - by Aaron Aupperlee
Carnegie Mellon University’s International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) team beat its U.S. competitors and came in second overall at this year’s North America Championship.
The CMU team finished behind the University of Waterloo but bested top U.S. schools including MIT; the University of California, Berkeley; and Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford universities. A total of 51 schools participated in the May 29 competition in Orlando, Florida.
The CMU team solved 10 of the 13 problems and won the "first to solve" prize by being the first team to solve any problem, which they did in nine minutes. The Waterloo team solved 11 problems, and all other teams solved fewer than 10 problems.
CMU was represented by Edward Xiao and William Tsin, both rising sophomores in the School of Computer Science’s Computer Science Department (CSD); and Joey Yu, a master’s student in computer science. CSD professors Danny Sleator and Richard Peng coached the team.
The ICPC pits top global computer programmers against each other. During these five-hour competitions, teams must solve complex problems that can require hours of thinking to first come up with a solution and then hundreds of lines of code to implement it. Teams often have to invent new algorithms on the spot, and programmers must code fast and without errors.
With its strong performance, the CMU team clinched a spot in the November World Finals in Egypt. Last year, a CMU team finished seventh and earned a silver medal in the competition, the university's first such medal and highest finish to date.
Xiao, Tsin and Yu will be joined by another team of CMU students in Egypt. Dilhan Salgado, a computer science major who graduated in 2022, and rising seniors Summit Wei and Yijun Chen will also compete, as the World Finals catch up after delays from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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