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University of Virginia Team Advances to the
International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC)
World Finals

ICPC group

On Saturday, November 2nd, a team from the University of Virginia bested all 190 other teams from over 60 regional colleges and universities to win the mid-Atlantic regional competition of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC)! Team Foo, consisting of computing students Shuaihao (Kevin) Zhang (4th year BA Computer Science), Leiqing Cai (3rd year BS Computer Engineering), and Jinyan Liu (4th year BA Computer Science), faced strong competition from other schools, such as Virginia Tech, Duke, and the University of Maryland. They will now advance to the world finals, in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in June.

The ICPC is the world's most prestigious collegiate programming contest. Each year, programming teams of three students compete in local regional contests in the fall. The top 100 teams from around the world advance to the world finals in the spring. About 10,000 teams (30,000 students) will participate in regional contests this year. There are 11 regions in North America, with the mid-Atlantic region comprising VA, NC, WV, DE, MD, DC and eastern PA.

This year, UVa fielded a total of 12 teams and 36 students. With their coach, Computer Science Professor Aaron Bloomfield, they traveled to one of the eight regional contest sites, at Radford University. Each team was given eight problems and 5 hours to solve as many as possible. One problem was to determine the best move in a game similar to blackjack. Another was to determine how many pieces would result from cutting a circle multiple times. When a team felt it had a correct solution, they could submit it. The contest judges then decided whether it was correct. If not, the team had to figure out what was wrong.

Teams were scored primarily on how many questions they answered correctly, and secondarily on how quickly they answered the questions. UVa's top team solved 6 questions correctly, as did another UVa team. Because Team Foo solved them faster, their overall ranking was better. Other UVa teams also did exceptionally well, winning 4th, 8th, 10th, 13th, 19th and 20th place. The University of Virginia has made it to the world finals 5 times in the last 6 years: 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden, 2010 in Harbin, China, 2011 in Orlando, Florida, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia, and has now qualified for 2014 in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

The full listing of UVa's teams is below.

  • Team Baz: Matthew Pearson-Beck, James Sun, Arjun Shankar
  • Team Zot: Natnatee Dokmai, Anish Tondwalkar, Alexander Lamana
  • Team Fum: Bethany Connor, Casey Huang, Kevin Whelan
  • Team Bar: Jasdev Singh, Nishant Shukla, Puneet Lall
  • Team Qux: Samuel Prestwood, Kevin Chen, Ashley Morse
  • Team Foo: Shuaihao Zhang, Leiqing Cai, Jinyan Liu
  • Team Grunt: Adam Campbell, Anat Gilboa, Zeming Lin
  • Team Thud: Lingfeng Cao, Zihao Wang, Wen-Ting Zhu
  • Team Bletch: Lenny Li, Dru Knox, Kang Guo
  • Team Snork: Dylan Ferrer, Alex Thomas, Harang Ju
  • Team Flarp: Christian Martinez, Man Wang, Hanke Meng
  • Team Blarg: Rolph Recto, Scott Newton, Connor Cormier

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