BEIJING, April 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- From April 15 to 19, the 42nd Association for Computing Machinery-International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC) World Finals were successfully held at Peking University. This year's competition was jointly hosted by Peking University and Youth Science and Technology Center of China Science and Technology Association. A total of 49,935 contestants in 3098 universities from 111 countries and regions across six continents worldwide signed up to participate. Of these, 140 teams from 51 countries and regions qualified from Regional Contests and advanced to the World Finals. Founder Group, JetBrains, TWO Sigma, SenseTime Technology, Kuaishou Technology, Hulu, Sepas, Mingli Data, Qiyuan, Recruit Holdings and MIXLABS, among others, jointly sponsored and supported the competition.
In the afternoon of April 17, the opening ceremony was held in the Peking University Hall. Wan Gang, Vice Chairman of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology; Hao Ping, Chair of the Peking University Council; Lin Jianhua, President of Peking University; Bill Poucher, Executive Director, and Jeff Donahoo, Deputy Executive Director of the Organizing Committee for the International Collegiate Programming Contest; H.E. Miguel Angel Ramírez Ramos, Cuban ambassador to China; Gao Song, Vice President of Peking University; Liu Yang, Director of Youth Science and Technology Center of China Science and Technology Association; and Sheng Yuhai, Chair of the Peking University Founder Group Co., Ltd. attended the event and witnessed the contest's opening together with hundreds of contestants and media from all over the world.
Bill Poucher first introduced the sponsors and partners of the contest and expressed sincere congratulations to the contestants who advanced to the finals. Jeff Donahoo quoted the Confucian proverb "benevolent is the one who helps others establish what he himself wishes to establish and to achieve what he himself wishes to achieve" and praised the players for their courage in overcoming difficulties and conquering challenges. In the welcome speech, President Lin Jianhua introduced Peking University's efforts in talent training, academic research, and innovation and entrepreneurship related to information science and technology to all the guests. Wan Gang, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology, expressed warm congratulations on behalf of China Association of Science and Technology and his sincere welcome to the guests, coaches, and team members from all over the world. Three wonderful cultural performances also took place at the opening ceremony. In the end, Poucher and Lin together painted the eyes of the lions on the stage, giving them life and demonstrating their wishes for the success of the contest and contestants. Afterwards, Lin announced the official opening of the competition.
At 9:51 am on April 19, this event, which could be called the "Olympics of Computer Programming for Undergraduates" officially began at the Khoo Teck Puat Gymnasium. This gym was also the table tennis venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. After ten years, it is once more the site of an "Olympic Games". During the competition, the teams wore different colored uniforms and shared a standard configuration computer to solve the 11 problems in the finals. The team could freely choose the sequence of problems and submit multiple answers for each problem. If the answer is correct, the score will be obtained. An incorrect submission results in a time penalty after the problem is successfully answered. Generally speaking, the more correct answers and the less amount of time spent increases one's score, whereas each submitted incorrect answer reduces one's score.
Thirteen minutes after the opening, Russian super team and six-time consecutive champions St. Petersburg ITMO University successfully submitted Problem F and became the first university to successfully solve a problem in this ACM-ICPC World Finals. After a team solved a problem, a balloon was given to the team. It is understood that as a tradition of the ICPC finals, balloons are used as rewards for answering problems: After each team correctly answers a problem, the organizer will raise a balloon representing the color of the problem in its place; the first team who solves correctly each problem will additionally receive a "first to solve" heart-shaped balloon. Colorful balloons representing victories continued to rise on the squad's table.
The performance of the team from St. Petersburg ITMO University was outstanding. At one point, it occupied the top of the list by solving four problems. Other universities were also striving to be number one, and the scoreboard rankings were rapidly changing. At 1:20 pm, the Peking University team submitted a solution code for the second time and became the first team who successfully solved 7 problems, temporarily ranking first. At 1:51 pm, there was still one hour before the end of the finals. According to the rules, the scoreboard was closed. Only the submission status was shown and it did not indicate whether it was correct or not. The final score would be announced at the closing ceremony of the Peking University Hall at 4 pm. Peking University submitted the answer to Problem G during the last 30 seconds of the competition, filling the audience with tension and hope.
After the competition, the closing ceremony and award ceremony of the ICPC was held immediately in the Peking University Hall. Vice President Gao Song expressed his warm congratulations on behalf of Peking University to the participating teams who made outstanding achievements in the competition. Huai Jinpeng, Executive Vice Chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology encouraged the participants to be creative, devote themselves to science, strive to become leaders in global technological innovation and an important driving force for the progress of human civilization. Afterwards, President Bill Poucher introduced the previous contests and invited the Executive Director of UPE Orlando Madrigal and Chief Referee of the World Finals John Bonomo to award the fastest solving award of the International Collegiate Programming Competition World Finals.
Then, the scoreboard's score display was started. Under everyone's intense gaze, the medals list began to calculate in real time the scores of answers submitted by teams after the closing of the scoreboard. The ranks of the teams chased each other and the ceremony burst into sporadic exasperation and applause. The intense and warm atmosphere was comparable to the afternoon's competition. In the end, all major awards were announced after five hours of the intense ICPC competition. A total of four teams won gold medals, four won silver medals and five won bronze medals. Among them, the Peking University team, consisting of 2016 undergraduate Ji Ruyi; 2017 undergraduate Hong Huadun of the School of Information Science and Technology; and 2017 undergraduate Ding Lihuang of the School of Mathematics Science, and led by coach Luo Guojie, a specially hired researcher at the School of Information Science and Technology, solved Problem G in the last 30 seconds of the competition and solved 8 problems, ranking third in the world and first in Asia, winning a gold medal of the 42nd International Collegiate Programming Contest, a tie with the best achievement of Peking University in 2014. In terms of Chinese mainland universities, Tsinghua University ranked 7th and Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranked 8th, both with silver medals. Russian universities swept the top two spots: Moscow State University was the only team to solve 9 problems, and it won the world championship; and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology came in second place. President Huai Jinpeng, Vice President Gao Song, and Chairman Bill Poucher together presented the medals to the winning teams and took a group photo. The World Finals of the 42nd International Collegiate Programming Contest successfully came to an end; a remarkable achievement for Peking University's 120th anniversary.
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