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Peking University ranks 3rd in the 42nd ACM-ICPC World Finals

APR . 26 2018
Peking University, April 21, 2018: From April 15th-19th, the 42nd world final of the Association for Computing Machinery-International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC) was held in Peking University. 4 Gold, 4 Silver and 5 Bronze Medal Teams emerged after the 5-hour competition on April 19th. The PKU team, consisting of Ji Ruyi (2016 undergraduate student of computer science), Hong Huadun (2016 undergraduate student of mathematics), and Ding Lihuang (2016 undergraduate student of mathematics),  mentored by Professor Luo Guojie (from the School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science), completed 8 challenging problems in the contest and achieved final ranks of 3rd internationally and 1st in Asia. Their performance also matched PKU’s highest record in 2014, and serves as a precious  gift for the celebration of PKU’s 120th anniversary.

Tsinghua University and Shanghai Jiaotong University ranked 7th and 8th respectively, and both obtained silver medals. The 1st and 2nd place teams both came from Russia: Moscow University won the international championship, being the only team that completed 9 problems, and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology placed 2nd.

The 42nd ACM-ICPC World Final is co-hosted by the Children and Youth Science Center (CYSC) of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and Peking University. Out of 49,935 participants from 3098 universities in 111 countries and regions, 140 teams advanced to the world final.

42nd ACM-ICPC World Final Site

The participants registered for and attended the welcome reception hosted by PKU on April 15th. They participated in seminars organized by our sponsors (Founder Group Corp, JetBrains etc.), and in the welcome concert ‘Musicode’ at PKU Centennial Memorial Hall. In the morning of April 17th, a tour to the Great Wall Juyongguan Pass was organized. Chinese hosts aimed to demonstrate the blending of advanced technology and Chinese culture . 
‘Musicode’-the Welcome Concert for 42th ACM-ICPC-WF

A Visit to the Great Wall at Juyongguan Pass

In the afternoon of April 17th, the opening ceremony was held at PKU Centennial Memorial Hall. Wan Gang (vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and chairman of CAST), Hao Ping (chairman of PKU Council), Lin Jianhua (president of PKU), and Bill Poucher (organization committee of ACM) attended the ceremony and delivered speeches. Several important awards were presented at this ceremony and artistic performances were showcased. The formal opening was announced by Lin Jianhua.

Performances at the Opening Ceremony

Opening Announcement by Lin Jianhua

After a one-day practice on April 18th, participants gradually became accustomed to the competition venue and environment. The final started at 9:51 am, April 19th at Peking University Khoo Teck Puat Gymnasium, which was also a venue of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. During the final, participants of each team were required to wear team uniforms, and also share one standard computer to solve 11 problems. Participating teams were free to choose the sequence in which to solve these problems, and could submit their solutions multiple times. Correct answers would be awarded credit and incorrect solutions would incur time penalties.

Participants answering questions

13 minutes after the competition started, Participants of St. Petersburg ITMO University solved Question F, becoming the first university to submit a correct answer According to the tradition of ACM, when a team successfully solves one problem, a balloon in a corresponding color will be raised above their table, and the team which submitted the first correct answer would be awarded a special "first to solve" balloon.

The St. Petersburg ITMO University team ranked highest at first as they solved four questions. They were overtaken by the PKU team at 1:20 P.M after the rising team solved seven questions, and submitted the answer to Question G during the last thirty seconds. The final scores were unveiled at 4PM in Peking University Hall.

On the afternoon of April 19, the press conference was held in the 138th briefing room of Khoo Teck Puat Gymnasium. School officials and other guests attended the press conference. Bill Poucher, Jeff Donahoo, and Gao Song (vice president of Peking University) were interviewed by many media representatives, and provided  answers to several questions concerning educating computer science in Peking university, as well as other inquiries about ACM.

the press conference

The closing and awards ceremony was held in Peking University Hall. On behalf of Peking University, Gao Song congratulated those participants who performed excellently in the competition, and spoke highly of the contribution of ACM-ICPC on promoting young students' skills in computer science, boosting their spirits of cooperation and establishing ideals of contribution to society. Huai Jinpeng (vice executive chairman of CAST) emphasized the significance of computer science on improving cross-discipline development, and encouraged participants to make more innovations in the future. Bill Poucher then reviewed the history of final champions in the past, and invited Orlando Madrigal (CEO of UPE) and John Bonomo (the chief judge of the finals) to present awards to the final champion.

Huai Jinpeng at the Closing Ceremony

Peking University won the gold medal 

Moscow University won the championship

After awards were unveiled, Jinpeng Huai, Song Gao, and Bill Poucher presented medals to teams who won in the finals and took photos with them together. The 42nd ACM-ICPC World Final concluded successfully.

The success of the 42nd ACM-ICPC World Final is meaningful to Peking University for the coming 120th Anniversary. Faced with the globalization of economy and technology, China is making efforts to develop into a country that focuses on innovation. Peking University, which persists in putting forward creative ideas and establishing scientific discipline structures, aims to enhance Chinese personnel training and technology creation. At the same time, Peking University would also contribute to constructing an efficient platform to solve technology problems and further improve the world's economic and social conditions.

Background Knowledge

Initiated by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in 1970, ACM-ICPC is an annual international contest designed to showcase the innovative abilities and teamwork of college students. The contestants need to program, as well as analyze and solve problems under pressure.

The contest consists of two major phases: Regional Finals and a World Final. With a duration of about 9 months, the contest attracts the participation of more than 2,000 colleges and universities from over 100 countries and regions representing 6 continents. Nearly 50,000 college students participated in the event this year.

After more than 40 years of development, ACM-ICPC has become the world's most influential computer contest for college students, and is known as the Olympics of the computer software field. Aiming to promote innovation and teamwork, the contest encourages students to give free rein to their creativity when building new software programs, and helps to test their abilities under intense pressure.

A Peking University team first took part in ACM in 2000, and ranked 4th place in the world. In 2014, the team from PKU consisted of Ni Zekun, Du Yufei, Luo Xiangyu, led by team leader Li Wenxin, deputy dean of the PKU School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science, as well as their coach, Luo Guojie, a specially-appointed researcher of the PKU School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science. That team earned a gold medal with a ranking of 3rd place in the world, which was the first time PKU won a gold medal in the ACM-ICPC World Final.

Written by: Li Haiyue, He Jin
Edited by: Fu Wenyun, Karen Xu
Source: PKU News (Chinese)