24 April 2019

CUHK Wins Bronze Medal in the International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals



The programming team from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) recently won a bronze medal at the 43rd Annual World Finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) held in Porto, Portugal. The team consists of three undergraduate students: Yik Wai-Pan (Computer Science major), Ho Ngan-Hang (Computer Science minor, Mathematics major), and Poon Lik-Hang (Computer Science minor, Quantitative Finance major). This is the third time CUHK has won medals at the ICPC. 

Established in 1970, the ICPC (formerly named as ACM-ICPC) is the oldest, largest and most prestigious programming contest in the world. This contest is a multi-tier competition from local, national, and regional contests leading to the world finals. The competition attracts the best and brightest students from around the world every year. It fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programmes, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure. This year over 52,000 contestants from over 3,200 universities from 110 countries took part in the competition, and only 135 teams advanced to compete in the world finals. The CUHK team ranked 12th and won a bronze medal in the world finals, defeating traditional prestigious teams from Stanford University, Princeton University, Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Cambridge, Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiaotong University and Peking University. 

Formed in the early 90’s, CUHK’s programming team has entered the ICPC world final 17 times, the first time being 1994. In 2000 they won a bronze and in 2012 a silver medal. Former, graduated team members are still contributing by passing on their experience, knowledge and techniques to serving members. Professor Chan Siu On, the team’s current coach and Assistant Professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of CUHK, was in fact a key programming team member during his undergraduate studies at CUHK from 2002 to 2006. 

Prof. Chan said, “Students coming from different major programmes have to work as a team to solve the problems in the competition by making use of their programming, communications and problem solving skills. It is definitely a great experience for them to compete with top-tier college students. As a former member of the CUHK programming team, I am also very proud of the students’ achievement.” 

ICPC has become a platform for prestigious international IT enterprises to hire the most outstanding students. Many of the CUHK programming team members have been employed by global IT enterprises such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and IBM while some received scholarships to pursue their master or PhD studies in prestigious graduate schools including UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Princeton University, University of Washington, University of Toronto, Brown University, University of Maryland, UCLA, and University of Southern California. The three team members this year, who are all final year students, have received job offers. Yik Wai-Pan and Ho Ngan-Hang have offers from Google, and Poon Lik-Hang will work for a hedge fund. 

About the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC)

The ICPC is an algorithmic programming contest for college students. Teams of three, representing their university, work to solve the most real-world problems, fostering collaboration, creativity, innovation, and the ability to perform under pressure. Through training and competition, teams challenge each other to raise the bar on the possible. It is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest in the world.

Prof. Benjamin Wah, Provost of CUHK (3rd from right); Prof. Irwin King, Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Engineering (1st from right); Prof. Chan Siu On, Assistant Professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (3rd from left); celebrate with Ho Ngan-Hang (1s  from left), Yik Wai-Pan (2nd from right) and Poon Lik-Hang (2nd from left) from the CUHK Programming Team for winning a bronze medal at the 43rd Annual World Finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest.
Prof. Benjamin Wah, Provost of CUHK (3rd from right); Prof. Irwin King, Associate Dean (Education), Faculty of Engineering (1st from right); Prof. Chan Siu On, Assistant Professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (3rd from left); celebrate with Ho Ngan-Hang (1s from left), Yik Wai-Pan (2nd from right) and Poon Lik-Hang (2nd from left) from the CUHK Programming Team for winning a bronze medal at the 43rd Annual World Finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest.

A group photo of members of the CUHK Programming Team and the guests.
A group photo of members of the CUHK Programming Team and the guests.

The CUHK Programming Team receives the bronze medal at the 43rd Annual World Finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest. 
Front row: Poon Lik-Hang (2nd from left), Ho Ngan-Hang (3rd from left), Yik Wai-Pan (4th from right) and the coach Prof. Chan Siu On (3rd from right)
The CUHK Programming Team receives the bronze medal at the 43rd Annual World Finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest.
Front row: Poon Lik-Hang (2nd from left), Ho Ngan-Hang (3rd from left), Yik Wai-Pan (4th from right) and the coach Prof. Chan Siu On (3rd from right)