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U-M Programming Team The Victors Advance to ACM World Finals

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(Top L-R) Asst. Coach Dennis Matveyev, Head Coach Prof. Kevin Compton, Asst. Coach Mark Gordon

(Bottom L-R) Chun Wu, Zhou Sun, Yujie An

The Victors, a team of U-M computer science students, has advanced to the 39th Annual ACM-ICPC World Finals after competing in the East Central North American regional competition at Grand Valley State University in November.

The ACM-ICPC is the largest and most prestigious computer programming competition in the world.  Over 125 teams competed in the regional competition, of which three advanced to the finals.  Worldwide, over 10,000 teams compete in regionals, and around 120 advance to finals.

In the East Central regional competition, the top 3 teams were:

1.  University of Waterloo, Waterloo Black Team
2.  Carnegie Mellon University, XP-Developer Team
3.  University of Michigan, Victors Team

Their scores can be viewed here.

The Victors team consists of three students: CS student Zhou Sun and CSE graduate students Chun Wu and Yujie An. The team coaches are Prof. Kevin Compton, CSE graduate student Mark Gordon, and UM-Dearborn alum and ICPC competitor Dennis Matveyev.

ACM-ICPC challenges university students with complicated programming problems for which they must design and implement clever algorithms. The contest pits teams of three university students against eight or more problems with a grueling five-hour deadline, and only one computer.  Competitors race against the clock and the winner is the team who correctly solves the most problems.

Team member Zhou Sun talks about how they prepared for the competition. “In general the preparation can be split into two halves. For individual, we keep learning different problem solving techniques, solving problems on different online judge sites and participating in individual online contests. The general pattern is first to learn some new algorithm; then to test them by coding some problems; and eventually in some contests to solve a problem with that new algorithm.”

Zhou states that for a student to be able to compete, they have to be passionate. There are definitely hard times when he practices, but he can still feel the excitement of solving the difficult problems. 

Last year the team advanced to the world finals, which took place in Ekaterinburg, Russia, with travel support from Barracuda Networks. For the second year in a row, The Victors will attend the world finals, which will take place in Marrakech, Morocco from May 16-21, 2015.


Posted: December 11, 2014