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     Volume 2 Issue 28| July 11, 2010|


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Young Programmers at BUBT-IUPC

Mushfeka Deeba

INFORMATION technology is one of the blessings of modern world. The world is gradually depending on IT based work, which has become inevitable in the fast-paced world of today. This advancement can be fully achieved with the proper study of science of which 'programming' is an important part. It is indeed a matter of delight that Bangladesh is striving hard to develop more in this area as it continues on its epic journey to an intellectually brighter nation. Keeping this aim in view, most universities of this country are working hard to produce students with high skills in programming. By solving problems in programming, one can also find a way to solve problems in the real life.

Arranging international programming contests and giving recognition to the contestants with awards encourage this study of programming worldwide. International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is a well-known competition organised by ACM, which inspires students' programming skills. Students from Bangladesh have been participating in this contest for several years and they have been found in high rankings in the world finals. It is reported that three teams, the largest number of teams to participate from Bangladesh, was in the world finals in 2009, whereas from the Indo-Pak subcontinent there were a total of 5 teams. In order to nurture creativity among the students and encourage them to compete internationally, the universities of Bangladesh are arranging Inter-University Programming Contests (IUPC) more frequently. BUBT (Bangladesh University of Business & Technology) has recently organised an Inter University Programming Contest (IUPC) as a part of its gala festival - CSE FIESTA 2010.

It was on the 18 and 19 June, 2010 when the BUBT premises was teeming with bright contestants participating from twenty-five public and private universities from all over the country. The competition started on Friday, June 18 with the mock contest. The contestants were given two problems to solve in one hour. However, the core competition started on Saturday, June 19. It was held in the Computer Lab, Networking Lab, Software Engineering Lab and Programming Lab of the university. Among the 58 groups of contestants, the largest number of teams (6 teams) participated from BUET (Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology). Besides them, four teams took part in the contest from Dhaka University, Chittagong University of Engineering.

Universities which attended the contest with two teams were, American International University, Bangladesh University of Business & Technology (BUBT), Brac University, Eastern University, International Islamic University Chittagong, Islamic University of Technology (IUT), North South University, Stamford University of Bangladesh, State University of Bangladesh, United International University, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh and The University of Asia Pacific. Atish Dipankar University of Science & Technology, Dhaka International University, Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science & Technology, Dinajpur, Southeast University each participated with one team. BUET showed outstanding performance, bagging 5 of the first 10 positions. The rankings that BUET achieved are 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, and the 9th. Dhaka University clinched the 3rd, 4th and the 7th positions in the contest. The name of the champion team was 'BUET Chimpanzee' and the team members were I) Md. Mahbubul Hasan II) Shahriar Rouf III) Avijit Sarkar. The second position went to 'BUET Annihilator'. The members of the team were I) Muntasir Mashuq II) Tasnim Imran Sunny III) Anindya Das.

The third position was achieved by 'DU Resonance' and the members of the team were I) Hasnain Heickal II) Anna Fariha III) Md. Shiplu Hawlader. 'SUB Epsilons' of State University of Bangladesh and 'Aust_Invincible' of Ahsanullah university of Science & Technology won the 8th and the 10th positions respectively.

In the competition nine problems were given to the contestants. Five teams were able to solve four at most. Five other teams solved three problems while thirty-two teams solved two. The rest of the teams solved one problem each. The Chief Judge of the contest was Prof. Dr. M. Kaykobad of the Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering of BUET. Mr. Shahriar Manzoor, Chairman of CSE Dept. of Southeast University was the Judging Director of the competition. He has also been working as the judge of the prestigious ACM ICPC World Finals since 2003. The other judges of the contest were, Sohel Hafiz (the world finalist of ACM ICPC contest of 2007-08 session), Md. Mahmudur Rahman (the world finalist of 2006-2007 session), Jane Alam Jan (the world finalist of 2008-09 session), Manzur-ur-Rahman Khan (he was the world finalist for 2 times in 2004-05 and 2005-06 session), Samee Zahur (the world finalist of 2008-09 session), Shamim Hafiz (one of the senior problem setters) and Muntasir Ahmed. Talking about the competition, the Chairman of CSE Dept. of BUBT, Md. Saifur Rahman said, “A student cannot be a good programmer studying only a limited number of books and knowing some particular rules. Programming contests can play a significant role to make the students good programmers'. The Chief Judge of the contest Professor Md. Kaykobad said, “The arrangement of this sort of programme is really appreciating. I hope, in the days to come, the programme of the like will be frequently organized in the country”.

It was an atmosphere of festivity that was seen in the entire BUBT campus. The contest rooms were found full of young programmers buzzing among themselves and solving the brain storming problems. Each group consisted of three members. Each team was presented with a colourful balloon just after they successfully solved any problem and each colour of the balloon symbolized a particular problem set. Christina Halder of University of Asia Pacific was one of the contestants. She said, “I do enjoy programming and that's why I hardly miss any competitions of this kind. My university also gives special care to the students interested in programming”. “We feel proud as we occupied several top rankings in the contest. But our aspiration is to solve more problems in future. This type of contests pave the way to sharpen our merit and skill”, said Shahriar Rouf of BUET Chimpanzee, the team that snatched the 1st position.

The award giving ceremony of the contest started at 5:00 pm at BUBT premises. The chief guest of the programme was Professor Nazrul Islam, Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC). The programme was also graced by the special guests, Professor Dr. Shafique Ahmed Siddique, the Chairman of the BUBT Trustee Board, Mr. A.F.M. Sarwar Kamal, Chairman of the Syndicate of BUBT and Professor Md. Ali Azam, Pro Vice-Chancellor of BUBT. Professor Md. Abu Saleh, the Vice-Chancellor of BUBT presided over the function. In his speech the Vice-Chancellor appreciated all the contestants and their coaches. He also thanked the judges who not only successfully conducted the whole programme, but also made the exciting problem set. The Dean of the faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences of BUBT, Professor Mahdi-uz-Zaman, a former professor of BUET, in his speech, thanked his colleagues for giving their sincere efforts organizing the programme. He also expressed his delight as a large number of teams participated at BUBT-IUPC.

“I am really happy to be present at this contest. I expect, in future, the contestants will be able to solve more problems than they have solved at this contest”, said Shahriar Manzoor, the Judging Director of the contest. The Chairman of UGC, Professor Nazrul Islam said, “to ensure quality education, each educational institution should maintain some vital factors like good faculty members, good intake of students, extra curricular activities and so on.

In the vote of thanks, Professor Abu Taher Mojumder, the Dean of Arts and Humanities and of Social Sciences, offered his heartiest congratulations to the winners, all contestants and coaches from different universities for their participation.

In the prize giving ceremony, the top ten teams were awarded with prize money and crests. The rest of the teams were given certificates of participation.

(The writer is the Member of Executive Committee, CSE FIESTA 2010)


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