HMC Teams Place in Programming Contest Top 20

Harvey Mudd College fielded three teams at the 2019 Southern California Regional of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) and all placed in the top 20.

Team List Incomprehension was the College’s highest scoring team at fifth place (the third consecutive year an HMC team has placed fifth); this was quite a move up from their 30th-place finish last year. It also earned them an invitation to the North American Invitational Programming Contest in March 2020. Team RIP Jacky placed 11th and Team HMC 656 placed 13th out of the 98 teams competing.

Each team of three students sharing one computer attempts to solve as many of the 11 complex, real-world programming problems posed within five hours as possible. Team List Incomprehension solved seven problems in just over 19 hours of total time-since-contest-start; the winning Caltech team solved nine in 16:32:10.

Programming problems included creating a compact Morse-like code, devising a program to assist builders to bound the number and dimensions of stairs, and removing walls to enable escape from a maze. The contest fosters creativity, teamwork and innovation in building algorithms and programs and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure. Coached by ACM team advisor and computer science professor Zach Dodds, Harvey Mudd team members are

Team List Incomprehension: Cole Kurashige ’20, Princewill Okoroafor ’20, Kye Shi ’21

Team RIP Jacky: Evan Johnson ’20, Radon Rosborough ’20, Owen Gillespie ’20

Team HMC 656: Mathus Leungpathomaram ’23, Joe Santichaivekin ’21, Jarred Allen ’22

Founded in 1977, the ICPC is considered the world’s largest and most prestigious programming competition, involving more than 50,000 participants from over 100 countries. Top teams from regional competitions advance to the final round, where they have the chance to compete against the world’s top college-level coders. 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.