HMC Places Sixth in Programming Contest

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Harvey Mudd College placed sixth in the regional competition for the IBM-sponsored ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest held Nov. 10 at Riverside Community College in Riverside, Calif.

Four HMC student teams competed in the prestigious computer programming competition, which challenged them to solve nine real-world problems within a five-hour time limit.

Huddled around a single computer, team members raced against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance. They worked together to rank the difficulty level, deduce the requirements, design test beds, and build software systems that solved the problems—all under the intense scrutiny of expert judges.

Winning teams had to solve the most problems in the fewest attempts in the least cumulative time.

HMC competed against 75 teams from throughout Southern California, tackling a semester’s worth of computer programming in a single afternoon. Three of the four HMC teams sent to the regional contest landed in the Top 20.

The HMC teams consisted of Andrew Carter ’13, Carl Walsh ’13 and Matt Prince ’13 (HMC Squared); Josh Oratz ’13, John Wentworth ’13 and James Kaplan ’15 (HMC J); Jordan Librande ’13, Peter Loftus ’13 and Jordan Ezzell ’13 (HMC Jordan); and, John Sarracino ’14, Emil Guliyev ’13 and Peter Fedak ’13 (HMC Escher).

HMC Squared solved five problems and secured sixth place. Team HMC J solved four problems and earned 12th place. HMC Escher solved four problems and HMC Jordan solved three, ranking 19th and 30th in the regional contest, respectively.

In 2010, HMC 42 seized first place in the regional competition and represented the College at the World Finals in Orlando, Fla. 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.