UCR Programming Team is making history

The UCR team made history in the regional contest of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) on Oct 28! UCR ranked 4th overall based on the performance of “Team 10”, consisting of Andy Li (junior, CS undergrad) along with Joshua Hsu and Thomas Li (sophomores, CS undergrads)! UCR outscored prestigious universities in our region such as CalTech, Harvey Mudd, USC, and UCSB, only following UCLA, UCSD, and UCI.  The first four universities in the region will advance to the North American Championships (NAC), and Team 10 is the FIRST TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF UCR to achieve that! They will get to go against the top schools in the US at the NAC to compete for a seat at the ICPC World Finals.

Team 10 solved 8 out of 11 problems in a 5-hour competition. The other four UCR teams solved 4, 4, 3, and 3 problems respectively, which are also remarkable results.  Overall, The UCR team as a whole also had a historical performance. 5 years ago we celebrated that all UCR teams solved at least 1 problem. Up until last year, we were proud that all teams solved 2 problems. This year we have all teams solving at least 3 problems, with 4 of them ranking top 50% in the region, with the 5th team coming close! Everyone on the team past and present is UCR's pride and joy.

Credit must also be given to the coaching staff from the Competitive Coding Club (Triple C). Led by head coach Professor Yan Gu, Xiaojun Dong (4th year PhD), Yuta Nakamura (BS’21, MS’22, Amazon), and Jiajun Yu (MS’22, Geico), who have worked tirelessly over the past couple of years to give students at UCR the best chance to learn and practice algorithm design and programming skills, and compete at the regional contests.

Head coach Professor Yan Gu, who coaches students mainly through his class CS119L: Algorithmic Programming and Problem Solving, states his philosophy for training. “Many teams who make it to the national level and beyond have trained for years in competitive programming even before college. The majority of the students who come to UCR do not have that kind of exposure. So Professor Yihan Sun and I carefully set up a list of opportunities to help our students quickly gain algorithm and programming skills, including but not limited to CS 119L, CS 141, CS 142, CS 214, CS 218, CS 219, UCR Programming Challenges (UCRPC), and Competitive Coding Club (Triple C). We raise the quality of training by guiding the students in solving harder and highly selective problems even if it takes time. The problem-solving skills are valuable for the students beyond the classroom setting, beyond these competitions, and into industry and research.”

The competitive programming team also practices throughout the year through training sessions hosted by Triple C every Saturday. If you didn't get a chance this year, we'd love to see you participate next year! There is a very good chance that YOUR name can be on the roster! For those of you who still have another chance, we'll see you next year! If you’ve graduated or are no longer eligible for ICPC, we are always looking for people to join the coaching staff to help take UCR to new heights.

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