On Campus

Can't beat Novosibirsk State

Education is definitely the great leveler. At a prestigious international computer science and engineering competition held earlier this year, developing world  university student teams crushed their first world peers.

Several Canadian teams did post strong results at the 31st Annual Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).  But  none of the top three teams, and only two of the top 10 (Waterloo and MIT), were North American teams.

First place: Warsaw University.
Second place: Tsinghua University
Third place: St. Petersburg University of  IT , Mechanics and Optics.
Fourth: MIT
Fifth: Novosibirsk State

Here are the rest of the results.

The ICPC claims to be the world’s most prestigious university competition in computing sciences and engineering.

Teams had to solve 10 complex, real-world programming problems – a semester’s worth of curriculum – under a grueling five-hour deadline.
The 88 teams in the World Finals were made up of 25 North American teams, 2 teams from Africa/Middle East, 10 from Latin America, 20 from Europe and Russia, and 31 from the Asia/South Pacific region.

Canadian results:

Waterloo: 9th place.
UBC, Alberta, U of T: All tied for 14th.

(In 2006, Alberta was 11th,  Waterloo was  12th, UBC was 13th).

Department of giving Canadian students and universities a pat on the back: there were 4 Canadian schools in the top 25, and only 3 US schools. The disparity was even more in Canada’s favour last year.

Department of don’t get too satisfied: Four of the top ten teams are from Russia. Two are from China. Last year, five of the top ten were from Russia.