URI Programming Team Advancing to the Regional Finals!

A University of Rhode Island programming team (URI RAM Error) has advanced to the Northeast North America (NENA) regional finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) [https://icpc.baylor.edu/] to be held on November 10, 2018 at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  URI will be represented by Douglas Deslauriers, Luke Watkins, Alex Lachance, and URI Coach Marco Alvarez.

The ACM ICPC is a tiered world-wide programming contest, and is considered the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming competition in the world.  In 2017, ICPC participation included 49,935 of the finest students and faculty in computing disciplines from 3,098 universities in 111 countries on 6 continents.  A record 53,446 students and 5,411 coaches competed in ICPC and ICPC-assisted competitions in 2017, setting new records in participation.

Teams of three students represent their universities and compete in an effort to reach the world finals in Porto (Portugal) in April 2019.  URI teams start their journey every Spring semester at the URI Programming Contest [https://homepage.cs.uri.edu/~malvarez/acm-icpc/uri-contest.html].  Qualified teams are selected to participate in the ACM Boston Preliminary (October)[ http://hc3.seas.harvard.edu/hc3/bospre/].Top performing teams in the Boston preliminary are invited to compete in the the Northeast North America (NENA) regional finals (November) [https://www.cs.rit.edu/~icpc/finals.html], which consists of colleges and universities throughout Quebec, New Brunskwick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Labrador, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York State excluding New York City.  The top team(s) from this region will advance to the World Finals in Portugal in April of next year.

This year 31 teams from 15 schools participated of the ACM Boston Preliminary.  The top 7 schools from the preliminary round were invited to advance to NENA Regional this year: Harvard University, Northeastern University, University of Rhode Island, UMass-Boston, Boston University, Brown University, MIT.   These schools will be competing with other teams in the regional final round for advancing to the world finals.

Dr. Marco Alvarez of the Department of Computer Science and Statistics organizes the URI Programming contest and is serving as the coach of URI teams for the NENA region.  According to him, the programming contest provides an invaluable experience.  Students are challenged with problems often well beyond the level that one would expect from undergraduate education.