Carnegie Mellon University
October 28, 2011

News Brief: CMU Programming Team Finishes Third in Regional Competition

Computer science/mathematical science majors Jon Adams, James Koppel and Jonathan Paulson — a team otherwise known as the Jimmy Jons — finished in third place in the regional competition for the Association for Computing Machinery's International Collegiate Programming Contest.

Two other CMU teams, (-.(-.-).-) and Fun Guy Taquitos, solved five of the problems and finished 6th and 7th, respectively.

Four Carnegie Mellon University teams competed at the ACM-ICPC East Central North American Regional Programming Contest in Cincinnati Oct. 22. A total of 122 teams from 60 colleges and universities throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, eastern Ontario, and Indiana participated in Cincinnati and at three other sites.

The first-place team from the University of Waterloo solved all nine of the problems in the competition, while the Jimmy Jons and a team from the University of Toronto each solved eight problems. The Toronto team edged out the Jimmy Jons for second place by solving its problems faster.

The top finisher from the regional is guaranteed a spot at the ACM-ICPC  World Finals in Warsaw in May. But often two or three teams from the regional receive invites to the final, said Coach Danny Sleator, professor of computer science, so the Jimmy Jons are awaiting word from the organizers.

The members of (-.(-.-).-) are Ben Alpert, a computer science major; Mike Mu, a computer science and electrical and computer engineering major, and Patrick Xia, a PhD student in computer science. The team name is a representation of three ninjas.

Fun Guy Taquitos members are Peter Liang, a computer science major, and William Ng and Franklin Ta, both computer science and mathematical sciences majors.

The fourth CMU team, the Dragons, includes Charles Guo and Ajay Ravindran, both computer science majors, and Lidong Zhou, a computer science and mathematical sciences major.

In addition to Sleator, the CMU coaches include Eugene Fink, senior systems scientist, and Ph.D. students Richard Peng and Kevin Waugh. IMC Financial Markets of Chicago is the team's sponsor.