HMC Teams Compete at International Collegiate Programming Contest

Harvey Mudd College teams placed eighth, ninth and 11th at the 2016 ACM Southern California Regional International Collegiate Programming Contest held at Riverside Community College in Riverside, California.

The contest challenges students to solve complex, real-world programming problems within a five-hour period. Teams were tasked with writing software systems that solved issues in a variety of areas, from translating cubits into meters, inches and feet to improving Pokémon game mapping to maximizing the cost-effectiveness of hotel rewards programs. Winning teams solved the most problems in the fewest attempts in the least amount of cumulative time. Eighty-five of the 94 teams competing in the IBM-sponsored event this past November submitted at least one problem, and each of the three HMC teams solved seven problems.

For some of the problems they submitted, the Mudd teams used the programming language Python, which was just added to the traditional languages Java, C and C++ on the event’s permissible list.

Team INTERTEAM (Alex Ozdemir ’17, Daniel Johnson ’18 and Hamzah Khan ’18) placed eighth, Team 555 (Mek Jenrungrot ’19, Cha Suaysom ’18 and Josh Tawabutr ’17) placed ninth and Team Water (Jincheng Wang ’17, Anna Ma ’17, and Tony Zhang ’18) placed 11th.

Since 2011, the top HMC team at each competition has reached at least ninth place. In 2010, HMC 42 seized first place in the regional competition and represented the College at the World Finals in Orlando, Florida. In 1997, HMC’s team of Brian Carnes ’97, Brian Johnson ’98, Kevin Watkins ’98 and Dominic Mazzoni ’99 won the World Finals. In fact, HMC is the only undergraduate, four-year college to have won the World Finals, joining a list that includes MIT, Caltech, Waterloo, Stanford and Harvard, among others.

View the 2016 regional results