UWI's First Participation in the ACM ICPC
On the 9th of November 2012, the Department of Computing and Information Technology of The University of West Indies, St Augustine Campus, will participate in the regional qualifying round of the prestigious International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) in Havana. The Association of Computing Machinery is one of the principal voices in the development of ICT in the world. As part of its mandate to provide opportunities for growth and development, they host an annual programming competition called the ICPC. The competition fosters creativity, teamwork and innovation in building new software programs and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure. It is described as “The oldest, largest and most prestigious programming contest in the world.”
The competition focuses on the development of the problem solving and programming skills of the participants. The investment in the development of such skills is an important component to the process of moving Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean from simply adopters to creators of technology. The Department of Computing and Information technology continues to advocate that the continuous participation in such events will produce a long term change in the attitude and mindset toward programming and problem solving within the graduates of the University of the West Indies. This change occurs as the competition builds the competitive spirit and increases the level of camaraderie among students as they tackle some of the hardest problems in Computer Science. These attitudes are the University’s declaration of the ideal student which is considered to be the critical characteristics to build the future generations for sustainable growth in the Caribbean.
This year will mark The University’s first ever participation in this event and represents a new drive to ensure that students are exposed to the widest set of experience both locally and internationally. Motivated by the continuous drive for excellence students and staff of the department of Computing and Information Technology has taken part in local competitions such as Teleios’ Code Jam, Canto’s iCreate and the i2i Competition and international competitions such as Microsoft’s Imagine Cup and Google’s Code Jam however our push to reach the finals of the ACM-ICPC is a new venture and represents our confidence in developing students that are globally competitive against the top institutions in the world.
However such initiatives typically occur outside of our region and the cost of travel can be prohibitive. Thankfully the support from the private and public sector of Trinidad and Tobago has been encouraging and represents the understanding that organizations have of the importance of investing into the development of the youth.
As of 2nd of November two organizations have supported the participation and development of a globally competitive workforce through financially support the airfare and accommodation. These organizations NIHERST and Atlantic LNG deserve special recognition to their continued commitment to the development of Trinidad and Tobago.
Members of the Team
Mentor: Mr Kris Manohar
Kris is an instructor at the department of Computing and Information Technology and has continued to be actively involved in the development of student both within and outside of the classroom. He teachers both programming and mathematics within the department, two important skills required for problem solving skill development. He has mentored teams for Microsoft’s Imagine Cup and Teleios Code Jam and was one of the organizers for the recently held Computer Boot Camp held by the department for Secondary schools in the summer.
A second year student pursing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Rikaard demonstrates an unparalleled devotion to building not only his programming skills but the skills of his peers as well. He is an active member of the project Euler where he uses some of his free time to solve difficult and complex mathematical problems with programming. His commitment to excellence goes beyond the classroom and previously supported other undergraduate students in learning about vulnerability analysis of websites during the summer of 2012.
A first year student pursuing a master’s degree in Computer Science, Sudesh has demonstrated a competitive spirit by being an active member if various teams that participated in different competitions organized throughout his undergraduate degree within the same institution. His passion is not only for academic excellence but is uses his time to build Android games, and provides short workshops for fellow students on building simple applications with the Android SDK.
A final year student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Kiran has been involved in a variety of activities during his time at UWI. He was a participating team in the Teleios Code Jam of 2011, he participated in the Runtime programming competition held in UWI in 2012. He described himself as a driven and motivated young man and this is validated by his consistent academic performance. Kiran is also committed to his country and has provided support to young people at different stages of their educational development and has continuously advocated for a greater level of involvement of graduates in the development of the lives of others.