Two teams of students from UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics have been chosen to represent UCD in the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Northwest European Regional programming competition.

The UCD CSI Programming Contest at which the teams were selected was held last Saturday, and was organised by CSI Web Developer, Dr Alexander Ufimtsev. “It has actually been a long tradition that was lost and we’re trying to actually get back on track and the last time we went to an international programming competition was in 2008 and then the people that were doing this left and then a couple of years later I picked it up,” Ufimtsev explained.

The contest featured teams of three given 10 programming problems to solve within five hours. No internet access was permitted other than to submit solutions to the test system, and to look up Java, C, and C++ API. The problems required specific algorithms to be solved within a certain time and certain megabytes of memory to be accepted, in addition to being correct solutions. There are no judges in the contest, but rather an automatic pass or fail from the test program.

Ufimtsev’s aim in holding the contest is to provide UCD Computer Science students with extracurricular programming experience to improve both their abilities and their employment prospects. “The biggest thing that students face when they graduate is the ability to find jobs so anything that gives them an edge like extracurricular activities like programming competitions, participating in open source software projects or doing something else similar gives an edge. That’s what people look for when they want to hire graduates, to see that they are more interested in the field than what they have to do when they do specific subjects.”

ACM’s Northwest European Regional Competition will be held in Delft University, in the Netherlands from November 23rd – 25th. The regional winner will go on to represent their university in the European Finals, followed by the World Finals held in St. Petersburg in July 2013.