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Waterloo takes top spots at 2017 ACM ICPC East Central North America Regional Programming Contest

Monday, October 30, 2017

illustration representing regional ACM programming contestUniversity of Waterloo programmers cleaned up at the 2017 Association for Computing Machinery’s regional International Collegiate Programming Contest.

Held on October 27 and 28, 2017, teams of three undergraduate students participated in the East Central North America Regional Programming Contest at the University of Windsor, the qualifying round for the 2018 ACM ICPC World Finals for teams from universities in Ontario, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio.

Waterloo teams placed in the top 10, with Waterloo White placing first, Waterloo Black placing second, Waterloo Red placing third, and Waterloo Gold placing ninth among 139 teams overall. They will now compete against 130 teams from around the world that are the best programmers in their geographic regions.

“I am extremely proud of the effort and accomplishments of all the Waterloo ACM teams,” said Professor Troy Vasiga, one of the coaches. “To have all four of our teams in the top ten and three in the top three exceeded my expectations. I look forward to preparing Waterloo White for the World Finals in April, which will be held in Beijing, China — and am hopeful for upcoming years, since nearly all of these competitors will be eligible to compete for the next few years.”

Every September and October preliminary local competitions are held, open to students from all faculties. Many students come to the university already hardened by challenging programming contests such as the International Olympiad in Informatics and the Canadian Computing Olympiad. Others get their first taste of competitive programming only weeks or months before the regional ACM competition.

Waterloo has placed first two times — in 1994 and again in 1999 — at the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals, which have been held annually since 1977.

2017 competition teams

Waterloo White — first place (solving 9 out of 10 problems of which two were solved first)

  • Renato Ferreira (4A Computer Science)
  • Josh Jung (2A Computer Science)
  • Ahmed Sabie (2A Computer Science)

Waterloo Black — second place (solving 9 out of 10 problems)

  • Joakim Blikstad (2A Computer Science)
  • Reyno Tilikaynen (3A Computer Science/Combinatorics & Optimization)
  • Ted Ying (4A Software Engineering)

Waterloo Red — third place (solving 9 out of 10 problems of which one was solved first)

  • Andy Rock (2B Computer Science)
  • Fengyang Wang (4A Pure Math/Combinatorics & Optimization)
  • Jason Yuen (1A Computer Science)

Waterloo Gold — ninth place (solving 7 out of 10 problems)

  • Robert Cummings (2A Computer Science)
  • Adam Richardson (3A Computer Science)
  • Jeffrey Xiao (2A Software Engineering)