How Zeros and Ones Win

The faculty of Engineering of the Université Antonine is once again proving its love for challenges by organizing a major competition in the world of Computer programming: The first Université Antonine Programming Competition (UAPC) will take place in Baabda campus this July 28. It follows a renowned international format organized by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). It is addressed for programming students.

The Competition

25 students, registered in second year or above, will be split in teams (1 to 3 students per team) and will compete in the UAPC while using one computer only. During 5 hours, they will need to solve up to 12 programming exercises inspired by Google, Facebook and NASA tests. Every time an exercise is solved the team must raise a balloon, up until the last exercise, for no one to know which team has first finished. Their suggested solutions are tested by Judge, a server which allows teams to try as many solutions as desired. Judge then executes their solutions, compares them to the organizers’ predefined solution and evaluates their results, based on speed, efficiency and analytical skills.

A 10-day boot camp has been scheduled for the 25 participating students with international coach Abdelrahman el Gamma, from Egypt, in order to give them a further push and help them write complex algorithms, analyze quickly and think outside the box.

The Teams

Teams must be named and will be required to attend a preparation session on Wednesday July 27th, between 2 pm and 5 pm, in order to practice and get familiar with the material in the presence of an international coach. They will also learn about of the related rules and regulations. Amongst those rules is the prohibition during the competition of smart phones and watches, USB keys, disks, e-books and any other digital device. Only published reference books in original hardcopy format are allowed. C, C++ and Java are the three programming languages approved during this competition, as per ACM rules.

Only two teams will be declared winners at the end of the competition and will be awarded cash money prizes and most importantly, will represent the Université Antonine in the ACM-LCPC, the Lebanese Collegiate Programming Competition, which takes place every year in a different Lebanese University, where up to 20 teams compete. The LCPC saw the light in 2008 and has given the chance to many Lebanese students to reach the Arab Competition (ACPC), a mandatory step to reach the International Competition (ICPC).

The Club

The Université Antonine created a club for programming students called the Programming Society, where 30 students get to practice their analytical thinking, ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently, and work on their team skills. Through the club, students become better prepared for the UAPC, LCPC, ACPC and ICPC, competitions which are not only achievements by themselves, but also an opportunity to get scouted by the biggest recruiting agencies in the industry who always attend those competitions.

The Organizers

Elias Doumith, Bechara Al-Bouna, Georges Bader, Chady Abou Jaoudé and Mohammad Nassar are the people behind the UAPC preparations; they hope to give aspiring students a better chance to make it in the field of 0 and 1. They are now preparing the 2nd edition of UAPC.

The best of luck from the organizers to all participants!

UAPC will be held at the main campus of Université Antonine in Baadba, on Thursday 28 July 2016, from 9 am till 1 pm. 




Georges BADR, PhD., Assistant professor, Faculty of Engineering