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Purdue’s algorithmic programming team advances to world finals


Minh Nguyen, Devin Qu, Trung Dang, and coach Professor Ninghui LiMinh Nguyen, Devin Qu, Trung Dang, and coach Professor Ninghui Li at the International Collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC) at the North America Championship (NAC 2022), held in Orlando Florida.

Three Purdue students proved their prowess at solving algorithmic problems and were rewarded with advancing to the world final competition. The students finished in ninth place out of 50 teams in the International Collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC) at the North America Championship (NAC 2022), held in Orlando Florida on May 30, 2022. 

This year's Purdue team consisted of three computer science undergrads: Trung Dang (CS, 2019-2023), Minh Nguyen (CS, 2020-2024), and Devin Qu (CS Honors, 2020-2023). This is the third time overall that Trung has represented Purdue at the NAC, and the first time for Minh and Devin.  The team is coached by Professors Gustavo Rodriguez-Rivera and Ninghui Li.

Trung Dang, Coach and Professor Ninghui Li, Minh Nguyen, and Devin Qu

"I am immensely proud of the hard work all of the students put in towards studying and preparing for this competition,” said coach, Professor Ninghui Li. He added, “They are dedicated to improving themselves and representing Purdue well – year after year."

The students first qualified for the NAC through a rigorous process which started when they were the top three individual finishers in ICPC North American Qualifier in January 2022. They were then selected to represent Purdue in the next competition – the ICPC East Central North America Regional in February 2022. 

At the NAC, each team of three students were given five hours to solve 13 algorithmic problems using a single computer. “Solving,” means passing all test cases under the given time and space constraint.

Devin Qu, Trung Dang, and Minh Nguyen

The Purdue team solved six questions correctly in the allotted time and was the first out of 50 teams to solve Problem E. See the final standings of all the teams at the NAC. Problem E out of 13 problems the team solved to place ninth at the NAC

"The Purdue programming team is one of the best,” said Coach Gustavo Rodriguez-Rivera, “Not only in the US, but at the world level.” He added, “Advancing to the World Finals puts Purdue among the top universities in the world. We are very proud of the Purdue team passing to the finals. We are so proud of Trung, Minh, and Devin." 

All three are members of the Purdue Computer Science student group, Competitive Programmers Union, which spurs growth and involvement in the ICPC and helps students develop skills needed to solve complex algorithms and data structures problems often presented in technical interviews.

The ICPC is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious algorithmic programming contest for college students around the world. Organized by ICPC Foundation, it is designed to foster creativity, teamwork, innovation, and the ability to perform under pressure. Through training and competition, teams of three, representing their university, challenge each other to raise the bar of excellence in inventing trustworthy software systems that solve a range of complex, real-world problems. 






About the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University

Founded in 1962, the Department of Computer Science was created to be an innovative base of knowledge in the emerging field of computing as the first degree-awarding program in the United States. The department continues to advance the computer science industry through research. US News & Reports ranks Purdue CS #20 and #18 overall in graduate and undergraduate programs respectively, ninth in both software engineering and cybersecurity, 13th in programming languages, 17th in computing systems, 22nd in theory, and 24th in artificial intelligence. Graduates of the program are able to solve complex and challenging problems in many fields. Our consistent success in an ever-changing landscape is reflected in the record undergraduate enrollment, increased faculty hiring, innovative research projects, and the creation of new academic programs. The increasing centrality of computer science in academic disciplines and society, and new research activities - centered around data science, artificial intelligence, programming languages, theoretical computer science, machine learning, and cybersecurity - are the future focus of the department. cs.purdue.edu

Writer:  Emily Kinsell, emily@purdue.edu
Sources: Gustavo Rodriguez-Rivera, grr@purdue.edu
Ninghui Li, ninghui@purdue.edu

Last Updated: Jun 20, 2022 11:43 AM

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