That’s what four California State University, Chico students did—and did it well—at the World Finals of the “Battle of the Brains” last month in Orlando, Fla.
Officially titled the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest, the IBM-sponsored competition tests teams’ ability to solve complex computer-programming problems in a hurry.
Initially scheduled for Egypt, it was moved amid the uncertainties of the political transformation there.
The Chico quartet earned its ticket to Orlando by claiming the Pacific Northwest Programming Challenge in November, when it edged ahead of Stanford with one more problem solved as the final seconds ticked away.
Arriving in Orlando, the foursome was among the world’s top 105 teams, finalists selected from an original field of 8,305 teams from 2,070 universities in 88 countries, according to the team’s faculty advisor, Moaty Fayek. The Chico students—David Stolp, Katherine Gabales, Abhishek Iyer and Jennifer Coryell—placed 59th. Fayek figures that puts their team in the top 1 percent internationally.
The 11 problems posed at the world finals — with titles like “Coffee Central,” “Mummy Madness” and “Affine Mess” — are described here: 2011 ACM-ICPC World Finals Problems. Teams had five hours to try and solve them.
The first-place team came from Zhejiang University, which is in China, not Chico.
For details, see these reports at CSU, Chico News:
- Computer Science Students Finish Fifth in Nation in World Finals of ‘Battle of the Brains’ (May 31, 2011)
- Computer Science Students Take Last-Second Victory Over Stanford, Win IBM-sponsored ‘Battle of the Brains’ (November 15, 2010)
For more about Chico’s participation in the contest over the years (including who’s in the photo above), click here: CSU, Chico at ACM ICPC.
For more about this year’s event, click here: ACM-ICPC World Finals 2011.