Stony Brook Team Shines at ACM Programming Competition


In November the ACM Greater New York Programming Contest was held at Queens College. Fifty teams from institutions across the area competed in the annual contest, including teams from Cornell, NYU, Columbia, Princeton and Yale. Out of fifty teams, the highest placed team from Stony Brook finished in 5th place overall, with two other teams of Seawolves finishing in 15th and 18th place.

It was a great showing for Stony Brook, who finished only behind Cornell (home of the 1st place team), two teams from Princeton, and NYU, in that order. Stony Brook topped rival Yale, whose three teams finished in 9th, 10th, and 22nd place. They also bested Columbia, whose teams finished 7th, 13th, 16th, and 17th.

At the contest, each team was presented with nine programming problems and given five hours to come up with a solution. No electronic devices were allowed to be brought into the competition, although teams were allowed to bring any printed material they wanted including books of code printouts. The SBU team that finished in 5th place completed 8 of the problems in 21 attempts. The teams that finished 1st and 2nd were able to complete all 9 problems in only 11 attempts, a very impressive effort. As a comparison, most of the teams that finished in the bottom half of the standings only completed three problems or less.

Stony Brook’s top team held a strong lead in the middle of the competition, as they were ahead of every team in the contest by at least one full problem when they finished their sixth out of the nine. They were also the second team in the contest to have completed seven problems, after only the Cornell team that won it all. There was one problem in particular which presented difficulty to every team in the top ten, including Stony Brook’s, which interestingly enough was easily solved by one of Stony Brook’s undergraduate-only teams.

Fellow SUNY-school Binghamton was also at the competition, and their teams finished 25th, 36th, and 47th, behind every Stony Brook team there. Also representing Long Island was Hofstra University, whose teams placed 30th and 32nd. Stony Brook was certainly earned its bragging rights at this competition.

“Stony Brook was terrific until our top team made an unfortunate mistake in the last problem which went undetected until the end of the contest” said programming coach Rezaul Chowdhury. Barring another avoidable misstep, Stony Brook may be poised to win it all at next year’s tournament, given their exceptional performance in Queens. See photos and all of the rankings here.