HMC Teams in “Coding Olympics” Top 10

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Two Harvey Mudd College teams placed in the top 10 at the 2018 Southern California Regional of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).

Team 555 was the College’s highest scoring team at fifth place (for the second year in a row), and Team TBD placed eighth. The third team, List Incomprehension, placed 30th 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 555 solved eight problems; the winning USC team solved 10.

Teams were tasked with writing software systems that solved issues in a variety of areas, from using AI for typo checking to dividing up the customer base between two bicycle courier services to writing a program that computes the number of tiles of different sizes needed to cover a room. The contest fosters creativity, teamwork and innovation in building new software 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 555: Mek Jenrungrot ’19, Santi Santichaivekin ’21, Jordan Haack ’19

Team TBD: Evan Johnson ’20, Matthew Calligaro ’20, Owen Gillespie ’21

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

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.