Computer Science & Engineering Students Won Excellent Results from ICPC World Finals

The programming team from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) won the 12th place and a bronze medal at the 43rd Annual World Finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) held in Porto, Portugal. This is among the top three best results achieved by an institution from Hong Kong. The team consists of three undergraduate students: Yik Wai-Pan, a computer Science major, Ho Ngan-Hang, a mathematics major, and Poon Lik-Hang, a quantitative finance major.

Established in 1970, the ICPC (formerly called ACM-ICPC) is the oldest, largest and most prestigious programming contest in the world. This contest is a multi-tier competition with local, national, and regional contests leading to the world finals. The competition attracts the best and brightest students in computing disciplines from around the world every year. It fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure. This year over 52000 contestants from over 3200 universities in 110 countries took part in the competition, and 135 teams advanced to compete at the world finals. The CUHK team won the 12th place and a bronze medal in the world finals, defeating teams from Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, Cambridge, Tsinghua, Shanghai Jiaotong and Peking universities. For the first time, a team in Hong Kong has defeated all teams from mainland China at the world finals.

This is the 3rd time that CUHK has won a medal at the ICPC world finals. In 2000 and 2012, the CUHK team ranked 8th, and won bronze and silver medals respectively. Having demonstrated excellent problem-solving skills and team work, students from the past CUHK programming teams have been highly sought after by top international IT companies. They have been employed by Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM and offered PhD fellowships by prestigious graduate schools including UC Berkeley, Stanford, Princeton, Washington, Toronto, Brown, Maryland, UCLA and USC. All team members are graduating: Yik Wai-Pan and Ho Ngan-Hang have offers from Google and Poon Lik-Hang will work for a hedge fund. Every past team member has contributed by passing on new techniques and knowledge to the new team every year.

In fact, a second team from CUHK consisting of three computer science undergraduates also qualified for the world finals, having won top places at two regional contests earlier. This second team consists of Wong Tsz-Chun, Wong Yik-Chun, and Chow Kwan-Ting. Unfortunately, only one team is allowed to represent CUHK at the world finals. For the second time, CUHK has more than one team qualifying for the world finals in the same year.