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The UCLA ICPC team, L-R: Shahid Chohan, Chaoshuai Lu, Hao Chen and Xin Gao

JRI students head to Morocco for prestigious programming competition

A team of four students from the UCLA Computer Science Department will soon be participating in the world’s most prestigious computer programming competition. Hao Chen, Xin Gao, Chaoshuai Lu and competition advisor Shahid Chohan will compete in the world finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest held in Morocco on May 20th.

David Smallberg, a lecturer and vice-chair of the Computer Science Department, is the team’s faculty advisor. David was a member of the UCLA teams that took second place in the ACM competition finals in 1983 and 1985, and he coached the UCLA team that won the competition in 1989.

In the finals, teams will be presented with up to eight complex problems to solve in five hours, using a single computer. The contest requires skills in programming, algorithms, number theory, game theory, and, of course, teamwork. The team that takes the shortest amount of time to solve the most problems in the fewest attempts will be the winner.

Hao Chen and Xin Gao are both seniors who are part of UCLA Joint Research Institute in Science and Engineering with Peking University pilot Integrated PKU Bachelors - UCLA Masters program ( Under JRI student programs, students at UCLA and Peking University spend at least one term abroad and work on joint research collaborations.