5-100

Samara University programmers are finalists in the ACM ICPC International World Finals

19.12.2016, 15:57

On 4 December the semi-finals of the International Collegiate Student Programming Contest, ACM ICPC 2017 for the northeast European region were held simultaneously in four cities, St. Petersburg, Alma-Ata, Tbilisi and Barnaul. Over 200 of the strongest CIS teams competed in the battle for the opportunity to go to the World Finals in South Dakota, USA.
Samara National Research University was represented for the first time by three teams, each of which demonstrated impressive results. The most successful was the group named Haters consisting of Vyacheslav Muravyev, Egor Ponomarev and Denis Bezrukov, the boys made it to the finals!
Egor Ponomarev, a Master’s Degree candidate at Faculty of Information Technology , describes the details of the struggle and the victory.
-Egor, congratulations on the trip to the finals! Can you share your impressions of the tournament?
-Thank you very much! My impressions are amazing; we achieved our overall goal that we had been striving for a long time. The ACM ICPC World Semi-finals are held in St. Petersburg every year and is a get-together of the strongest, competitive programmers in the RF and CIS countries, as well as representatives from the major IT-companies. The organisers worked very hard and everything was first-rate. For example, at the registration you were given tonnes of souvenirs, treated to fresh coffee, and then invited to participate in a Yandex search (which has been one of the tournament sponsors for already a year).
-How did the preparation for the competition go? What allowed you to reach the finals?
-In a nutshell, there is nothing special; you simply need to invest a lot of time and effort into the preparation. Our team has been meeting every Saturday since spring to solve a five-hour training assignment, and starting in the fall, we started solving two five-hour tasks per week. Additionally, each one of us did a lot of individual work, constantly studying theory and solving problems. In October, we participated in two-week training sessions in MIPT. This probably helped us to reach the finals. And good luck, of course.
-What were the results of the Samara University teams?
- For the first time, three teams from Samara University participated. The Haters team was in the Top-15 best teams in the selection phase and passed to the championship finals. Our second team (Sergei Dimitrov, Aydar Fattakhov and Timur Nugmanov) received third degree diplomas, which is a very worthy achievement. The third team (Roman Murtazin, Nika Grinina and Ivan Rykov) were short by one resolved problem to receiving a diploma.
- Tell us about your frame of mind at the finals and the plans for preparing for it? What do you think needs to be done to catch up with the usual winners of past years, the teams from St. Petersburg?
-We are currently figuring out where to go further, which training sessions to take, and how to build the training process on the whole. Our level does not yet allow us to compete on a par with the favourite teams, but we want to show a worthy performance.
I want to note that participation in the ACM ICPC competitions is not an easy endeavour, therefore training has to be started right in school. Many talented guys from the regions leave to study in the universities in Moscow and St. Petersburg, therefore the capital universities have a certain staffing advantage. We hope that our team’s success will create a positive image for Samara University and will attract prospective students, and those who are already studying in the junior courses, will be motivated to actively develop and participate in similar competitions. By the way, on 18 December we will be holding a competition for novices, namely first- and second-year students. Come and test yourself!
Remember, the ACM ICPC World Finals will take place in South Dakota 20-25 May 2017.
Leonid Belyakov, Samara University Youth Information Agency*