Northwestern (WildWildCats) Wins 2016 ACM ICPC Mid-Central Regional Programming Contest & Advances to World Finals

The competition is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.

From left to right: (PurpleWildCats): Wayne Xun, Tieyong Yu and Zilun Yu; (WildWildCats): Ruohong Zhang, Abhratany Dutta and Yiding Feng; (Coach: Goce Trajcevski); (Assistant Coach: Edward Kim, not pictured); (CoolWildCats): Rainy Che, Sherwin Shen and Michael Chen

The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is considered as the "Olympics of Programming Competitions." It is quite simply, the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.

This year, Northwestern University sent three teams to the Mid-Central Regional Competition, held on Saturday, November 5, at the University of Chicago. The WildWildCats, featuring NU EECS Students Ruohong Zhang, Abhratany Dutta and Yiding Feng finished in 1st place out of 156 teams representing 56 different schools in total and have advanced to the ACM-ICPC World Finals in Rapid City, South Dakota from May 20-25, 2017. Also competing were the PurpleWildCats, consisting of Wayne Xun, Tieyong Yu and Zilun Yu, as well the CoolWildCats, encompassing Rainy Che, Sherwin Shen and Michael Chen. Head Coach Prof. Goce Trajcevski led each teams exemplary effort with valuable contributions from Assistant Coach and Alumnus Edward Kim.

The ACM-ICPC (Association for Computing Machinery - International Collegiate Programming Contest) is a multi-tier, team-based, programming competition. Headquartered at Baylor University, Texas, it operates according to the rules and regulations formulated by the ACM. The contest participants come from over 2,000 universities that are spread across 80 countries and six continents.

Mid-Central regional ACM ICPC Results

View 2016 ACM Mid-Central USA Programming Contest Official Scoreboard Results

The contest consist of two rounds:

ICPC Regionals: The regionals are organized by the local universities of different regions spread across the globe. The winners of these regional rounds of the contest get to represent the country in the ACM ICPC World Finals. The Asia Regionals in India are held at 3 sites viz. Amritapuri, Kolkata, and Chennai.

Every regional contest site gets a "slot," which is an invitation for the team to compete in the World Finals. Typically, all the "slots" are allocated by December 31 every year. Additional slots may also be allocated based on student and institution participation, geographic coverage, and team performance. A few bonus slots are allocated each year for growth, innovation, and hosting. So depending on the number of slots that each regional site gets, that many number of top teams it can send to the World Finals.

Also each regional site can have multiple rounds to select the best teams amongst those who apply. Typically they have an online contest, out of which selected teams are called for the onsite contest. These contests happen from the month of October to December.

World Finals: The pick of the crop from every regional site locks horn at the World Finals.

IBM is acknowledged as the "Primary Sponsor" of every ICPC Regional Contest. In some geographies, IBM representatives/recruiters may choose to participate in your regional contest. In these cases, IBM will contact you directly. IBM recruiters may choose to host an informal gathering for the students the night preceding the contest, or provide goodies for breakfast before the contest. This is decided at the local level and does not affect the common support that IBM chooses to provide at all Regional contests. IBM's goal is to help you make each contest a success - and, IBM is a primary sponsor to the ICPC World Finals.