Kevin Compton Receives ACM-ICPC Coach Award

Prof. Kevin Compton Enlarge
Prof. Kevin Compton

Prof. Kevin Compton has received an ACM-ICPC Coach Award for his work in five times bringing student programming teams from the University of Michigan to the world finals in the annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.

The largest and most prestigious computer programming competition in the world, the ACM-ICPC challenges university students with complex and rigorous real-world problems using open technology and advanced computing methods. The contest pits teams of three university students against eight or more complex, real-world problems, with a grueling five-hour deadline. Competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy, and mental endurance.

For a team to advance to the world finals, they must first place highly in regional competition. Out of the thousands of teams that compete each year in regional competitions worldwide, just over 100 teams make the cut to advance to the finals.

The five years/places that Prof. Compton has taken teams to the world finals are:

2004 – Prague, Czech Republic
2005 – Shanghai, China
2010 – Harbin, China
2011 – Orlando, Florida
2014 – Ekaterinburg, Russia

According to Prof. Compton, “The best part of coaching has been the opportunity to work with talented, enthusiastic young people.  This includes not only the team members I’ve coached over the years, but also the assistant coaches  have contributed so much time and energy: Randy Ho, Andrew Nierman, Jarrod Roy, Charles Zhang, Dennis Matveyev, and Mark Gordon.”

The most memorable event for Prof. Compton was when the the U-M team won a gold medal
in 2011 for a 2nd place finish at the world finals
. Team members that year were Mark Gordon, Qifeng Chen, and Jonathan Plotzke. That year, 8305 teams competed in regional contests worldwide and
103 advanced to the finals.

In 2014, the team members were Yujie An, Zhou Sun, and Chun Wu. Dennis Matveyev and Mark Gordon were the assistant coaches. Over 10,600 teams competed in the regionals and 122 advanced to the finals. The U-M team placed 45th.