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For the eighth year in a row, Amrita University hosted the Asia Regional Finals of the prestigious ACM-ICPC (Inter Collegiate Programming Contest). This Olympics of programming contests attracts worldwide participation every year from undergraduate students of computer science and engineering.
Three locations in India conduct the Asia Regional Finals – Amrita University, IIT Kanpur and IIT Kharagpur. Teams that qualify from these locations have the opportunity to participate in the ACM-ICPC World Finals.
This year saw record participation from 252 teams at Amrita, which was hosting the Regional Finals at all three of its engineering campuses in Amritapuri, Bangalore and Coimbatore. The teams represented 160 Indian universities including many IITs, NITs and IIITs.
Around 100 teams participated in IIT Kanpur and IIT Kharagpur each.
The battle of brains, as it is called, started in Amrita at 8.30 am on Thursday, December 20. The contest proceeded simultaneously at all three campuses connected via A-View. After a grueling five hours in which contestants battled 11 problems, the winners emerged.
The winning team from IIT Madras solved 8 problems. Teams from both Chennai Mathematical Institute and IIT Roorkee that came in second and third respectively, solved 7 problems.
About 15 teams solved at least 5 problems and 61 teams solved at least 4. Judges included world-finalists of previous ACM-ICPCs.
All teams competing in Amrita had earlier participated in an online contest that saw a participation from 1400 teams, setting a record for the largest participation in Asia.
“Programming contests provide a fertile ground for students and professionals to nurture their algorithmic thinking abilities and creative problem solving skills. These two are very important when we consider the most desirable traits of a global professional,” remarked Mr. Hari, Campus Connect Coordinator from Infosys at the closing ceremony.
Earlier, Mr. Mahesh Bharatkar, a certified management professional from IBM, addressed contestants from Bangalore during the inaugural function.
The Amrita contest has enjoyed support from both Infosys and IBM for the past several years.
Contest participants also had the opportunity to interact with the judges, who provided insights into different ways of solving problems.
Peter Magyar, IEEE Fellow and Professor at Budapest University in Hungary was also present. Budapest University, like Amrita and the two IITs that host Regional Finals in Asia, form part of a global network of universities that pre-select teams for the ACM-ICPC World Finals.
All contestants were appreciative of the warm hospitality they received at Amrita. “We could truly experience Athithi Devo Bhava here, even though we were complete strangers to this place,” shared students from Vasavi College of Engineering, Andhra Pradesh.
Contestants at the Amritapuri campus enjoyed an additional bonus. “The visit to Amma’s ashram was the perfect means for relaxation after having travelled so far,” students expressed.
Contestants also participated in sightseeing trips organized by Amrita. While Amritapuri participants toured beautiful Thenmala in Kerala, Coimbatore contestants enjoyed a day trip to the nearby hill station of Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. Student teams in Bangalore experienced the beauty of Mysore in Karnataka.
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