Waterloo team of programmers solves all 11 problems – and earns first place

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Four teams of programmers from the University competed on October 26 at the Association for Computing Machinery regional International Collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC). One of the teams was the only one to complete all 11 problems within the five-hour time limit, earning them first place. The other three teams placed second, third and fifth.

The first-place team, Waterloo Gold, consisted of Timothy Li, Wesley Leung, and Arash Bigoldi. The Waterloo Red team, Thang Pham, Reyno Tilikaynen and Sean Purcell, came in second finishing 10 problems and solved the most problems first. Robert Cummings, Joakim Blikstand and Jason Yuen representing Waterloo Black also completed 10 problems. The fifth-place team, Waterloo White, consisted of Andy Rock, Joey (Yinhan) Yu and Josh (Yesung) Jung finished eight problems.

Purdue ranked fourth, while teams from Carnegie Mellon University, University of Toronto, University of Michigan and Case Western Reserve University placed in the top 10. The field included 115 teams from the East Central North America region which includes universities from across Ontario, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. 

The top schools now qualify for the North American Championship in Atlanta, February 19-23, 2020, and some of the teams will then qualify for the World Finals in Moscow June 21-26, 2020.  

“The performance of our Waterloo teams is truly impressive. The skill and teamwork that for Waterloo Gold to finish all 11 problems is outstanding,” said Stephen M. Watt, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics at Waterloo. "All of the top 10 teams performed at a high level, and all Waterloo teams finishing in the top five is something to be proud of. We look forward to seeing these teams advance to the North American finals in Atlanta."

Last year Waterloo’s teams had their best-ever result at the annual competition placing first through fourth, though none of the teams completed all the problems. Coached by Ondrej Lhotak and Troy Vasiga, faculty members in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, and sponsored by Jane Street, Waterloo’s teams were selected in preliminary competitions open to students from all faculties earlier in the fall.