Three students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Programming Team won the 12th place and brought home the bronze medal at the 43rd Annual World Finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) in Proto, Portugal on 4 April 2019. This is one of the best results in this worldly-renowned contest achieved by a Hong Kong institution to date.
Alex Poon (Quantitative Finance Year 5) from CUHK Business School teamed up with two Year 4 students – Anson Ho, a Mathematics major and Jason Yik, a Computer Science major, to represent CUHK to compete against 135 teams from top universities from around the world at the World Finals.
The team of three went through multiple levels of local and regional competitions before making it into the final round at the University of Porto in Portugal. At the finals, each team was given 11 complex, real-world problems to solve with a single computer within a gruelling five-hour deadline. Teams had to collaborate and race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance. At the end, the CUHK team managed to solve seven questions within the limited timeframe, defeating teams from other top-tier universities such as Stanford, Harvard, Cambridge, Tsinghua, and Peking University, taking home the bronze medal.
”This is our second time participating in such a contest and we are overjoyed to receive such an accolade,” said Alex Poon, the only business student in the team. “In order to prepare for the contest, we dedicated numerous hours to train and familiarise ourselves with the mock-up questions after school. Through the practice, we managed to build up better problem-solving techniques and understand each other’s programming behaviours better. Team work is definitely one of the most crucial factors that led us to success.”
Despite being a business student, programming has never been a stranger to Alex. Alex had been passionate about programming since his high school days and has participated in a number of programming competitions. He commented that studying Quantitative Finance also requires excellent problem-solving skills and a strong analytical sense that tied well with his calibre in programming.
Established in 1970, The International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is the premiere global programming competition conducted by and for the world’s universities. The ICPC is affiliated with the ICPC Foundation and is headquartered at Baylor University. For over four decades, the ICPC has grown to be a game-changing global competitive educational programme that has raised aspirations and performance of generations of the world’s problem solvers in the computing sciences and engineering.