U-M Programming Team Places Second in World Competition

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L-R: Dennis Matveyev, Jonathan Plotzke, Mark Gordon, Qifeng Chen, and Kevin Compton

A team of three U-M computer science students has placed second in the highly competitive 2011 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC) World Finals, which took place May 27 – 31 in Orlando, FL.

The largest and most prestigious computer programming competition in the world, the competition is sponsored by IBM and challenges university students with complex and rigorous real-world problems using open technology and advanced computing methods under grueling deadlines.

The U-M team – undergraduate Qifeng Chen, CSE PhD student Mark Gordon, and undergraduate Jonathan Plotzke – was one of only two teams to solve all eight problems in the competition. In doing so and in placing second, the team is clearly among the best of the best in the world – one of only four top teams to receive gold medals!

To reach the world finals, Chen, Gordon, and Plotzke competed at the regional level in November 2010, emerging as one of 104 elite teams from a field of 8300 teams from more than 1,900 universities, 82 countries, and six continents.

Team coaches are Prof. Kevin Compton and Dennis Matveyev of Ford. “We are delighted by the spectacular success of the team,” said Prof. Compton. ” This is the first time in a number of years that an American team has won a gold medal.”

In 2010, Compton and Matveyev coached the U-M programming team to a tie for 14th place in the world finals as a result of the team solving 5 of 7 problems in the competition. Mark Gordon, then a U-M senior, was also on the 2010 team.