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Purdue Computer Science Team Advance to Algorithmic Programming Finals


A team of Purdue Computer Science students at the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) North America Championship.

A team of Purdue Computer Science students placed 4th overall and brought home the bronze medal at the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) North America Championship. They bested 55 teams at the competition and will advance to the world final contest in Moscow, June 21-26, 2020.

Purdue's team members are Trung Dang, Riley Borgard, and Yi Xi. This was the first time for the team members to compete at the national level and the first year of ICPC competition for Borgard and Dang. They are coached by Professor Ninghui Li and Professor Gustavo Rodriguez-Rivera

ICPC is an algorithmic programming contest for college students. Teams of three, representing their university, work to develop algorithms and write programs to solve challenging problems, fostering collaboration, creativity, innovation, and the ability to perform under pressure. Through training and competition, teams challenge each other to raise the bar on the possible. Quite simply, it is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.

"This success will attract other high school students interested in competitive programming (CP) to Purdue University, said Rodriguez-Rivera. He added, "Not only will it make our CP program better, it will make Purdue more successful."

The competition was fierce – many teams had contestants who previously competed at the ICPC world finals before. Some of the competitors were medalists in individual competitions, like the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). The final scoreboard for ICPC North America Championship is available.

Freshman computer science major Trung Dang stated, "I am very happy that I have achieved success after years of hard work and training. I am very grateful to have my teammates and coach who helped me and backed me up in times of hardship, especially during the contest."

Computer Science graduate student Yi Xu (advisor Suresh Jagannathan) stated, "As the eldest team member who first got in touch with competitive programming more than ten years ago, I am really excited to see my dream of getting into the ICPC World Finals finally come true." He added, "I would like to give thanks to my outstanding teammates, our reliable coaches, as well as our persistent training efforts."

Borgard (junior and double major in computer science and mathematics honors, undergrad research with Kent Quanrud) contributed, "It is an honor to represent Purdue at the ICPC world finals in June. Our strong showing at the national championship could not have happened without the countless hours of practice and hard work and dedication by our coaches, Professor Li and Professor Rodriguez-Rivera." He added, "It is our goal in the CPU organization to build a strong community around competitive programming. We hope that our performance will inspire many students, and that our efforts will lead to similar successes in years to come."

"I feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to work with Riley, Trung, and Yi. They are amazing algorithmic problem solvers, and practiced hard for this competition," said Professor Li. "We are very appreciative of the support of Purdue Computer Science Department for the CP Program at Purdue University, which includes the Competitive Programmers Union (CPU) Club, and the series of CS 390CPx courses on competitive programming."

The team and coaches would also like to thank the ICPC community. During preparation for the North America Championship, the team received invaluable help from experienced ICPC former contestants and coaches, especially Georgia Tech faculty member and ICPC coach, Richard Peng and former ICPC World Final participant, Nick Wu.

Information is available about the ICPC North America Championship.


Writer: Emily Kinsell, 765-494-0669, emily@purdue.edu, @emilykinsell

Last Updated: Apr 10, 2020 12:14 PM

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