Spiral Problem Blocks Road to Morocco

Stony Brook teams finished 5th, 7th, and 21st at the ACM ICPC Greater New York Regional at St. Joseph's College on November 16, 2014. With our region granted a surprise second slot in the World Finals this year (which would have sent our 2002 and 2012 teams to The Show) we were in the hunt all contest long for a trip to this year's finals in Marrakesh, Morocco. Indeed, after seven problems, the Stony Brook Seawolves team sat in second place, flanked by two Princeton teams, and a full problem ahead of the next closest school. It looked like we might be riding the Marrakesh Express.

But solving a tricky problem G concerning the location of a point on a spiral cost them too much time, enabling Columbia and Cornell teams to slip 56 minutes ahead in total elapsed time for the coveted second slot. The last remaining problem on computer arithmetic looked boring but tractable, however incorrect specifications doomed every team's attempts to solve it as time ran out.

As usual, Stony Brook accumulated bragging rights for SUNY and Long Island schools. All our teams finished in the top half of the field. Coaches Yanqing Chen and Oleskii Starov provided to-flight leadership during our pre-contest selection and training sessions.

The Stony Brook 1 team of Sheng Cao, Yuxuan Shui, and Haochen Chen finished in fifth place among the field of 42 teams. Sheng and Yuxuan should be eligible for next year's team.

They were closely followed by the Stony Brook 2 team of Vincent Tsuei, Yingtao (Alan) Tian, and Ankur Mittal, who finished in seventh place, also with eight problems. Their high water mark was third place after 4 problems. They were the first team brave enough to submit the ultimately unsolved problem C. Had their solution attempt dropped, they would have been regional champions.

Our undergraduate team of Nolan Donohugh, Stephen Tschudi, and Hung Pham finished in the top half of the field, in 21st place. With two juniors and a sophomore they will be back to represent us next year.

Previous years results include: