02 June 2017 – A team of three Computer Science students placed joint-20th at the recent 2017 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) World Finals, in Rapid City, South Dakota, USA.

NUS TeamTam, comprising Muhammad Rais Fathin Mudzakir (Year 3), How Si Wei (Year 2), and Agus Sentosa Hermawan (Year 1), solved six out of the 12 problems, which resulted in a final rank of 20/133. Coached by Associate Professor Tan Sun Teck, their performance is comparable to those of the 2014-2016 NUS ACM ICPC World Finals teams, despite being fairly new to the annual multi-tier competition. This year, 46,381 contestants from 2,948 universities in 103 countries on six continents competed at over 530 sites to advance to the 2017 World Finals.

Dr. Steven Halim, founder and director of NUS Computing’s Centre of Competitive Programming, said, “The ACM ICPC World Finals 2017 result reflects the growing strength of Asian Universities. Six of the 12 gold, silver, and bronze medals were won by teams from Asian universities. Of those six, three compete in the same Pacific and Indochina Peninsula sub-region as Singapore. Thus, it will be tough to qualify to World Finals next year, but we will be ready for the challenge."

Dr. Halim, A/P Tan, and their team have been instrumental in the development of competitive programming in Singapore, including undertaking the organisation of the National Olympiad in Informatics (NOI), as well as training secondary school, junior college, and NUS Computing students for the NOI, International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), and ICPC regionals and world finals. According to Dr. Halim, because of NUS Computing’s involvement in these contests, and the school’s strong reputation, many of the best South East Asian competitive programmers have joined NUS Computing. Therefore, there will be stiff competition for the opportunity to represent NUS in the world finals.

The annual ICPC regionals will begin again in October, so an internal selection contest for will be held on Saturday 02 September 2017. Students who are interested in competitive programming may contact Dr. Halim.

NUS Computing’s participation in the 2017 ACM ICPC World Finals was supported by generous donations from Garena, Indeed Tokyo, and Jump Trading.


About ICPC:
The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is the premiere global programming competition conducted by and for the world’s universities. The multi-tier, team-based, programming contest involves a global network of universities hosting regional competitions that advance teams to the ACM-ICPC World Finals. The contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure. It is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.

The contest pits teams of three university students against eight or more complex real-world problems, with a gruelling five-hour deadline. Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy, and mental endurance.