Yale hosts and competes in major programming competition

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Yale Team 1 — (from left) Cezar Mocan ’16, Serban Stan ’17, and Cyril Zhang ’15 — was the top all-undergraduate team in the competition and was fourth place overall.

They came; they programmed; they conquered — some of them did, anyway.

That was the outcome when Yale University hosted the Greater New York Regional of the ACM International Programming Contest (ICPC) on Oct. 27. The ICPC is a major programming competition, with over 30,000 students participating worldwide.

All totaled, 51 teams of three students from 20 schools came to campus for the competition, with some traveling from as far away as Cornell. Among the competitors were four teams from Yale.

The participants — university students with less than five years of university education — were given five hours to solve nine programming problems. The team that solved the most problems won. This year that honor went to a team from New York University.

The members of Yale Team 1 — Cyril Zhang ’15, Cezar Mocan ’16, and Serban Stan ’17 —each received $100 for being the top team composed exclusively of undergraduates. The team finished in fourth place overall.

The other Yale teams and their rankings were: seventh place — Michael Zhao ’15, Jeffrey Lai ’17, and Ruan Silva ’14; 13th place — Mason Liang ’15, Eric Pan ’15, and Michael Tan ’15; and 16th place — Avi Arfin ’14, Daniel Tahara ’14, and Brandon Li ’14.

Michael Fischer, Yale professor of computer science and the Yale teams’ faculty adviser and coach, arranged for the contest to be held at Yale. The teams are also coached by graduate student Yitzchak Lockerman. Michael Hopkins ’15 is the team captain.