UM, CityU HK jointly hold International Collegiate Programming Contest’s Asia regional contest

The International Collegiate Programming Contest held at UM

The University of Macau’s State Key Laboratory of Internet of Things for Smart City and Faculty of Science and Technology (FST), and the City University of Hong Kong recently held the 2020/2021 International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) Asia Macau Regional Contest. As a hybrid event that involved both virtual and in-person elements, the contest attracted students from 34 well-known universities in mainland China during the event, nearly 200 faculty members and students gathered at UM to compete for the regional championship and exchange ideas on programming skills. To stimulate interest in computer programming among secondary school students, the organising committee invited a total of 12 teams from secondary schools in Macao and Hong Kong to the event as visitors.

This is the first time that the two-day event has been held in Macao. Participating teams came from various universities, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Nanjing University, Sun Yat-sen University, the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the City University of Hong Kong, and UM. In addition, students from Pui Ching Middle School (Macau), Lou Hau High School (Macau), Hou Kong Middle School, and Pooi To Middle School joined the event as visitors.

Each team in the contest was comprised of up to three students, who had to solve 12 practical programming problems within five hours. Using one computer per team, participants worked together to conduct mathematical analysis, data structure design, and code writing. Participants were required to submit their answer to an online evaluation system when a question was solved. The team that submitted the fewest times and solved the most questions in the shortest cumulative time was awarded the championship and earned qualification for the international finals. The preliminary results show that Peking University won the championship, while Shanghai Jiaotong University and Fudan University won the second and third prizes, respectively.

Launched in 1970, the ICPC is the most influential university programming competition in the world and aims to develop students’ creativity, teamwork, as well as the ability to write codes and solve problems under pressure. So far, 50,000 students from over 3,000 universities around the world have participated in this event. As part of the activities in celebration of UM's 40th anniversary, this year's Macao regional competition was organised by UM to promote computer education and to stimulate students' interest in computer programming, so as to nurture young talent in programming and artificial intelligence for Macao, the Greater Bay Area, and China.

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