UK Hosts Regional Programming Contest

One team from UK competingOn Saturday, November 3, the University of Kentucky hosted the Mid-Central Regionals of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest. The Mid-Central region includes Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois (including the greater Chicago metropolitan area in Indiana), Kentucky and Tennessee.

Over 150 teams competed at several satellite sites. The Lexington site was organized by UK’s Department of Computer Science, which has hosted the event since 2000, and enlisted the help of many student volunteers and staff members. Twenty-seven teams competed for five hours in the WT Young Library labs, attempting to solve numerous algorithmic problems in an extremely short amount of time.

“The contest was a great success for all the participating teams,” said faculty advisor and satellite site director Jerzy Jaromczyk. “The participants moved their programming skills to the next level and took home new experiences.”

While the competition itself was demanding, creative programming-themed team names offered levity to the experience. “How I Met Your Motherboard” from Austin Peay University was among the most popular entries.

Four teams representing UK competed in the event, finishing in the top seven locally and in the Mid-Central region’s top 10; however, they fell short of advancing to the ACM World Finals in St. Petersburg, Russia. Jaromczyk, who oversaw the UK teams that advanced to the World Finals—most recently in 2010—is optimistic about UK’s future in this event.  

The winning team

“Overall, our teams did very well. We plan to continue practicing for next year and hope to make it back to the World Finals of this most prestigious programming contest.”

Winners of UK's top-ranked team--Matt Fahrbach, Forrest Simmons and Supreme Aryal--are pictured at right.  Their team was the only one on this site to solve the hardest of the eight problems.

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Kel Hahn