Despite being upset by teams from Berkeley and Stanford in the regionals of the International Collegiate Programming contest, UBC has been awarded a wildcard spot in the competition's world finals based on their strong fourth-place finish in a difficult Pacific Northwest Region.
Computer Science students Christopher Head, Robert Tseng and Simon Suyadi, together with graduate student coaches Anton Likhtarov and Patrick Nguyen, will head to Stockholm in April to compete. This marks the sixth straight year UBC has advanced to the world finals.
The Pacific Northwest region is one of the largest and most cut-throat in the competition, featuring perennial favourite UBC, and strong teams from Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Washington. From thousands of teams competing in regional contests around the globe, only 90 advance to the finals. The Pacific Northwest region typically sends two teams on to the finals.
After winning last year's regionals, UBC finished 23rd in a tough final that saw St. Petersburg University of IT, Mechanics and Optics and MIT take top honours. Nguyen was part of the UBC team that advanced to the competition’s last finals.
The programming challenge—run by the Association for Computing Machinery and sponsored by IBM—involves attempting to solve 11 in-depth problems within a gruelling five-hour time limit.