Stony Brook Team Earns Honorable Mention at ACM ICPC World Finals

Stockholm syndrome struck Stony Brook at the World Finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC), but the hung on to win an honorable mention in the event held April 21, 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden, The Stony Brook team Tynan Fitzpatrick, Roman Kogan, and Leif Walsh earned the right to compete by finishing first among 45 teams to win the ACM ICPC Greater New York Regional Programming Contest back in October. Stony Brook were the only team to solve eight problems during the five hour contest, nailing the clincher with only 12 minutes to spare. Only the top 100 of the 6,700 teams from 1,821 universities qualified for the finals this year.

The team, with acting coach Charles Ward, arrived early to enjoy the sights of Stockholm. They took full advantage of the rich pre-contest program of events, including presentations by sponsor IBM.

A deceptively-challenging problem involving optimal utilization of an airport runway consummed most of their time during the contest, but they hung in and nailed it at the end. They were not alone in their troubles on this: another team submitted 13 incorrect solutions to the problem before giving up the ghost. The St. Petersburg Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics won the competition for the fifth time, and defended their 2008 world title.

All three team members are undergraduates would be potentially eligible to compete in next year's tournament. But Leif and Roman will instead be participating in prestiguous research exchange programs that will likely keep them away from Stony Brook during next year's regionals. Tynan will be back to lead a new team into battle.

The Stony Brook team of Tynan Fitzpatrick, acting coach Charles Ward, Leif Walsh, and Roman Kogan (left to right), with official Citigroup umbrella.

Previous years results include:

The activities of the Stony Brook Programming Teams are sponsored by a generous grant from Citigroup.