UNN programmers outrun MIT and Cambridge and become absolute champions of the world
The team of Lobachevsky University for the first time won the finals of the International Collegiate Programming Championship (ICPC), which ended in Moscow on October 5, receiving the cup and the gold medal of this prestigious international IT competition. The university team competed under the guidance of its coaches, IITMM faculty members Aleksey Shmelev and Vladislav Epifanov. It included Nikolay Kalinin, a graduate of the UNN Advanced School of General and Applied Physics, and IITMM graduates Aleksey Danilyuk and Valeria Ryabchikova.
After successfully passing the qualifying round on the previous day, at the final round of the championship our team had to solve as many problems as possible in five hours. For every task they had to come up with a fast algorithm and program it. Every mistake was punished with penalty points. At the end of the final round, only the team from Lobachevsky University solved the maximum number of problems – 12 out of 15 possible. Our closest rivals, the teams from Seoul National University, ITMO University from St. Petersburg, and MIPT (Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology) solved 11 problems each. Thus, the Lobachevsky University team became the absolute champion among 119 strongest teams from all over the world.
"Our team opposed the strongest universities in the world: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, as well as leading Russian universities - Moscow State University, Saint Petersburg State University, the Higher School of Economics. Our programmers showed excellent results in a tough struggle with these teams, but the suspense was high until the last moment, and everything was decided in the last hour of the competition," says the head of the UNN team, Associate Professor of IITMM Nikolay Borisov.
As UNN Rector Elena Zagaynova remarked, the university worked long and hard to come to this victory. "Lobachevsky University was able to show the best level of programming in the world. We began to take part in professional programming contests in the 1990s. Vladimir Lelyukh, Associate Professor of our Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, prepared many glorious champions. It can be said that he founded the Nizhny Novgorod school of contest programming. This year’s champions title and our team’s gold is the best award for all those who were taking the first steps on this difficult path. October 5th was an important day for us: we joined the large-scale program "Priority 2030", where UNN will implement four national-level strategic megaprojects: "Healthy Generation", "Comfortable Environment", "Creative Person" and "Fundamentals of Future Technologies". A distinctive feature of all the university research projects is the use of modern IT technologies. UNN is positioning itself in the future as a national Centre of Excellence in Applied IT. On that very day, our talented students, trained by our professors who are professionals of the highest class, became the first in the world. A huge thank you to everyone for this first class effort! Our victory is just another confirmation of the high level of training in the field of IT and mathematics at Lobachevsky University. I am proud of you!", - summed up Elena Zagaynova.
ICPC is the International Collegiate Programming Contest, which annually gathers the best young programmers of the world. The ICPC 2021 finals took place in Moscow, with the support of the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications, and Mass Communications. All in all, around 59,000 students from 3,406 universities in 104 countries took part in the championship.