The International Collegiate Programming Contest is the oldest, largest and most prestigious university-level algorithmic programming contest in the world. Each year, teams of three programmers represent their university as they work together to solve real-world problems, while fostering collaboration, creativity, innovation, and the ability to perform under pressure.
Before the final international competition, a series of regional contests takes place across the globe. On Saturday, March 6, 2021, five teams of Waterloo programmers participated in just that. They competed in the East Central North America International Collegiate Programming Contest against 67 teams fielded by Carnegie Mellon, Purdue, University of Toronto, Ohio State, and University of Michigan, along with other universities across Ontario, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
Waterloo Black, composed of Ildar Gainullin (1B Computer Science), Jason Yuen (4B Computer Science), and Wesley Leung (3B Software Engineering), took first place. Waterloo Black not only solved all 12 problems, but they were the only team to solve four of the problems first and all problems in less than an hour and a half even though the contest runs for five hours.
Waterloo Red, composed of William Li (1B Computer Science), George Chen (1B Computer Science), and Andrew Qi Tang (1B Computer Science), came in fourth and solved all 12 problems.
Waterloo Gold, composed of Kevin Wan (1B Computer Science), Wen Yuen Pang (1B Computer Science), and Arash Mahmoudian Bidgoli (2B Computer Science), finished in fifth place, solving all 12 problems.
Waterloo White, composed of Anish Mahto (2A Computer Engineering), Robert Cummings (4B Computer Science and Combinatorics and Optimization), and Josh Jung (4B Statistics), finished in seventh place, and solved all 12 problems.
Waterloo Pink, composed of Ava Pun (2A Computer Science and Combinatorics and Optimization), Dat Vu (1B Computer Science), and Peter Ralbovsky (4B Computer Science), finished tenth, solving 11 of 12 problems.
ICPC East Central North America Regional Contest • Top 10 teams
Waterloo teams at the East Central North America ICPC were coached by Cheriton School of Computer Science Professors Ondřej Lhoták and Troy Vasiga, and sponsored by Jane Street, an international firm that trades a wide range of financial products.
“Congratulations to all of our talented Waterloo programmers,” said Professor Vasiga. “Even though the competition ran for five hours, first-place team Waterloo Black finished it in just one hour and 21 minutes. With such a strong showing, Waterloo Black along with Waterloo Red will take on teams at the North American Division Championships this April. If they place highly there, they will go on to compete at the North American Championships in August, and we hope the World Finals in 2022.”
“The local and regional ICPC competitions have been held virtually over the past year because of the pandemic, adding a new wrinkle to these contests that rely on strong collaboration within a team,” said Professor Lhoták. “Several of our students are attending Waterloo from their home countries right now. Troy and I would like to note that Waterloo Pink’s Peter Ralbovsky was competing from Slovakia between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. local time, and Dat Vu from Vietnam between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. local time.”
Waterloo’s proud history at the International Collegiate Programming Contest
The University of Waterloo is the only Canadian university to win the International Collegiate Programming Competition, taking the prized title in 1994 and again in 1999. In 2018, our students swept the top four spots at the East Central North America regional competition, a gruelling contest against 129 teams from schools that included Carnegie Mellon, the University of Michigan, and the University of Toronto.
Let’s do it again this year!