Published on: 19 October 2017

Three Christ Church boys competed in the recent Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACMICPC), an international competition between university aged computer science students from around the globe.

Despite being high school students, the team comprised of Marcus Handley (Year 10), Albert Smith (Year 11) and Callum Koh (Year 10) claimed 5th place in the divisional league, surpassing university teams from every state apart from New South Wales.

“Marcus, Callum and Albert did really well in the contest, even though they were unofficial entrants (the rules restrict official entry to university students). They solved eight problems with a cumulative time of 1108 minutes,” says team coach, Tim French.

The contest identifies the top problem solving students throughout Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, and this year’s event consisted of twelve algorithm challenges ranging from very easy to quite difficult, covering topics such as geography, graph theory and data structures. Over 60 teams were represented in the contest, participating remotely from universities such as the University of Western Australia (UWA).

“I would like to thank Mr Honnens for putting a lot of work into the Informatics Club and training us, mentoring us, and making us aware of opportunities,” says Marcus.

“This December, Albert and I will be attending the School of Excellence at the Australian National University (ANU) which will see us being taught more advanced data structures, problem solving techniques, and given opportunities to practice.”

Whilst the boys are ineligible for the ACMICPC regional finals due to entry criteria, the boys will take next year as an opportunity to raise their ranking and look forward to further competing once at university stage to reach for the world finals.