University of Calgary

Computer science undergrads cash in at programming contest

UToday HomeMarch 28, 2013

By Marie-Helene Thibeault

Team OdysseusTyler Sims, left, from Coverity, and Andrew Helwer, president for the Problem Solving Club, right, present Team Odysseus’ Kurtis Niedling, Karl Augsten and Kent Williams-King with their $1,800 prize. Photo by Mike WingSeventy-two computer wizards from the Faculties of Science and Engineering battled head-on as part of the Calgary Collegiate Programming Contest presented by Coverity.

The challenging contest on March 23 consisted of solving eight problems in four hours — offering students a unique opportunity to test their aptitudes and knowledge against a set of programming puzzles requiring problem solving, programming, math and teamwork skills.

The University of Calgary’s Team Odysseus came out strongest thanks to the efforts of Kurtis Niedling, Karl Augsten, and Kent Williams-King. The three computer science undergraduates, who are also members of the Problem Solving Club, successfully completed six out of the eight problems and took home the top prize of $1,800.

“I’m disappointed because I should have done better,” admitted Williams-King, who will be joining two other teammates to attend the ACM ICPC World Finals this summer in Saint Petersburg, Russia. “I hope to rectify my mistakes in time for the next competition,” added the fierce competitor.

Niedling, who hopes to qualify for next year’s regional championships, said he “felt very good” and admitted that their practices held every second Saturday paid off.

When asked about his plans for spending his $600 prize share, Augsten joked: “I hope to buy a house!”

The contest was organized by the Problem Solving Club in association with the Computer Science Undergraduate Society. It recognizes the standards of the Association for Computing Machinery and the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest. This year’s event featured guests competing both locally and remotely from universities across Alberta.

"The turnout was incredible,” said Andrew Helwer, president of the Problem Solving Club. “This is the largest contest we've organized so far, and we've learned a lot and hope to grow and improve it next year,” he concluded.

For details on the Calgary Collegiate Programming Contest presented by Coverity, visit:

For more information on the ACM ICPC world finals in Saint Petersburg, Russia visit:


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