In a race against 24 other teams – and the clock – two groups of computer science programmers from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar placed first during the 2013 Oman Collegiate Programming Contest held at the Sultan Qaboos University under the patronage of H.H. Sayyid Faisal bin Turki bin Mahmoud Al Said, CEO of Oman Brand Management Unit. Teams representing 18 colleges from the Sultanate of Oman and the GCC participated in the five-hour competition.
The teams of three were given a set of nine problems to try to solve in JAVA, C or C++ using a single computer. They were ranked according to the most problems solved, with those teams who solved the same number of problems ranked by time. At the end of the competition, the top five teams each solved four problems.
Team Brainiacs and Kufta from Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar finished 1st and 2nd respectively, with the former solving the first problem in less than eight minutes.
Senior computer science undergraduate Manoj Reddy was elated after the results were announced. “We hope to do great in the Gulf Programming Competition in Abu Dhabi in March as well,” he said.
Both of Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s teams solved each of the four problems in less than an hour.
Collegiate programming contests pit teams of students against each other as they work to solve the most problems in the shortest amount of time. Since the problems are often modeled after real-world issues, such competitions serve as a testing ground for young computer scientists to put their knowledge into action. “I am very proud of these students. This result rewards all of their efforts. They have been involved in this competition since their freshman year. They dedicated time to attend the numerous programming workshops in the evening,” remarked Thierry Sans, assistant teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.