UH Hilo programming teams win Hawai`i site

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Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaii at Hilo computer science programming teams took first and second place honors for the Hawai`i site in the annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest held on Oahu on November 10, 2007.

“The ACM programming contest is an annual competition sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery and IBM that pits teams of three programmers against a set of fiendishly difficult programming problems,” explained Dr. H. Keith Edwards, UH Hilo assistant professor of computer science and team coach. “The teams have one computer and five hours to solve as many of these problems as possible. The team that solves the most problems wins the competition with ties broken by the amount of time that it took a team to solve the problems and number of incorrect submissions.” Successful teams require a mix of mathematical problem solving abilities, technical programming expertise, and the ability to work together as a team.

Led by Jahrain Jackson, Yekaterina Kharitonova, and Chris Usher, UH Hilo’s Team Anonymous submitted two last minute solutions to win a dramatic come-from-behind victory. “The team had struggled during the early part of the contest and had only managed to solve a single problem going into the final hour of the contest,” Edwards said.

During the final hour, the scoreboard is turned off. “Team Anonymous used this time to their full advantage and corrected several early mistakes that had prevented their problems from being accepted by the judges. When the scoreboard was turned back on, the team had pulled ahead of all the other teams by one problem,” Edward said.

UH Hilo’s other team, Team Decepticons, composed of Vladimir Ivanov, Collin Schrandt, and Andrew Zdryski, took second place by submitting early and correct solutions. They finished one problem behind Team Anonymous, but had the best times of any team at the site.

Cassandra Cabaong, the senior UH Hilo team member and alternate, competed on an inter-university squad with students from BYU-Hawai`i and Hawai`i Pacific University. The inter-university squad overcame technical difficulties to solve one of the problems during the final hour of the competition.

Dr. Ramón M. Figueroa-Centeno from the mathematics department assisted the team with graph theory and number theory problems.

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