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UCT teams wins prestigious ACM ICPC Regionals programming contest

The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) Southern Africa Regionals that was held on Oct 15 was the largest ever since its commencement in the early 2000s, and a very exciting one indeed.  It is a yearly 5-hour long nonstop team programming contest to solve as many problems as you can in a team of three students with just one PC. This year saw a record of 130 approved teams from across Sub-Saharan Africa participating, 104 of which had submitted code, of which 48 had at least one correct solution. The “NameNotFoundException” team from Stellenbosch was the first to submit a correct solution, within about 5 minutes. At the time the scoreboard froze at four hours into to contest, five teams each had solved 5 problems, with a Stellenbosch team in the lead on time, and UCT trailing in 2nd-5th positions. The last hour proved to be an exciting one, with suspense, secrecy, and exclamations of joy, for all the 12 Western Cape teams were together on one location and the psychology of team contests is not to be underestimated.

The UCT team “If Cats Programmed Computers”, consisting of Robin Visser, Guy Patterson-Jones, and Kieren Davies, won the Regionals and they will represent UCT at the World Finals. They solved 7 problems.
Stellenbosch’s “NameNotFoundException”, with UCT alumnus Dylan Nelson in their team, came second, with time as the tie-breaker. They solved 6 problems.
The UCT team "Alpha Code Masters", consisting of 2nd-year students Jonathan Bouwer, Jonathan Alp, and Dylan Sims, took third place in the overall classification, with time as the tie-breaker, having solved 6 problems, too.
The UCT team "I CLEARLY PRESSED CAPSLOCK", consisting of Jacques Heunis, Sarah Taylor, and Satchen Gush, took fourth place in the overall classification, with time as the tie-breaker, having solved 6 problems as well.
The UCT team "Dynamic Programming Required", consisting of 2nd-year students Udarshan Oodit, Ryan Broodryk, and Luke Tylor, took sixth place in the overall classification, having solved 5 problems.

The 6 UCT teams ended up in the positions 1, 3, 4, 6, 13, and 42 in the overall classification.  Considering the events of the past month that had a negative impact on the number of UCT teams and on their composition, and saw reduced training and practice, this is an impressive achievement of all our teams.

As in 2014, this year also saw two teams from other African countries make it into the top-10: Nigeria and Burkina Faso. Other participating countries were, in the order how their top-team ended up in the final scoreboard: Togo, Cameroon, Benin, Namibia, Angola, Ethiopia, and Niger.

The eight problems of the Southern Africa Regionals can be accesed here.

The UCT team “If Cats Programmed Computers” will represent UCT at the ACM ICPC World Finals, which will be held in Rapid City, South Dakota, USA, in 2017. They will compete against 127 other teams who won their respective Regionals. Noting that some 40000 students across the world participate in these qualifying rounds, this amounts to the top 1% in the world.


last modified 2016-10-27 11:45