Computer science club hosts first-ever competition

May 7, 2018 — by Connie Liang

The computer science club hosted its first competition on April 22 aimed at challenging high school students from around the Bay Area in solving complicated algorithmic programming questions.

About 20 students competed from 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m, solving questions created by members of the club in teams of up to three students in two categories: novice and advanced. The top three teams from both categories received either $30, $20 or $10 depending on their place, as well as a stuffed polar bear, the competition’s mascot.

In the advanced division, a three-person team from Harker, RGL, placed first. Spontaneous Combustion, a novice team from BASIS, placed first in that division.

CS Club co-president junior Nicholas Zhang said that after the team attended local competitions last year, including Stanford Proco, the club members were inspired by the efforts that other schools and institutions put into hosting events.

“The CS Club officers felt that [the team] had a very experienced group of programmers and that it would be an interesting experience for everyone to participate and feel involved,” Zhang said.

A few months before the competition, the club posted on Facebook asking for members to submit interesting problems. Then, SIO staff members sorted the questions into “yes,” “maybe” and “no” categories to decide on whether or not the question should be run in the competition. On the Friday before the competition, members helped to write and check the problem sets and code solutions.

Club co-president Tiffany Huang said that the tournament was a beneficial learning experience for the team, as members learned how to better set up and organize events, advertise, manage time wisely and focus on paying attention to even the trivial details.

In the future, the club looks to possibly continue SIO using the knowledge garnered from this year’s competition.

“Currently, we are not sure about the future of this contest, but we intend to continue this as a possible tradition for the computer science club,” Zhang said.


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