Competing in computer programming: the successes of the CPPoliTO team

OverkillaTO team

It’s called Competitive Programming and it is the confrontation ground for computer science enthusiasts: a challenge by algorithms and codes, where the student who can solve, in the shortest time and with the best performance, mathematical problems of particular complexity wins. C, C++, Java, Kotlin and Python are the most widely used languages in this mental competition that compares knowledge of topics such as graph theory or the ability to implement proposed questions. Challenging each other are teams of college students with an interest and inclination for the discipline, such as the CPPoliTO Team.

Founded in 2020, CPPoliTO promotes the culture of Competitive Programming at Politecnico by participating in major national and international competitions in the field, while offering lectures and training sessions to interested students.

Last January 28 and 29, the group participated in the Southwestern Europe Regional Contest-SWERC at the Sorbonne Université in Paris, achieving an important result: twenty-first place out of one hundred and eight entries, sixth best Italian team.

SWERC is a Competitive Programming contest held annually in Southwestern Europe, with teams from universities in France, Israel, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and, since this year, Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino and Vatican City. This competition serves as a qualifier for the most important International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), the oldest and most prestigious world-wide Competitive Programming contest for university students, and European Championship (EUC), a new competition created for the best teams from all over Europe not qualified for ICPC.

Checkmate Coders team

The CPPoliTO Team participated this year with two teams, OverkillaTO, consisting of Federico Fortunati, Nima Naderi Ghotbodini, Mattia Longo, and Checkmate Coders, represented by Pasquale Bianco, Lorenzo Nikiforos, Antonio Spadaro.

The competition consisted of two phases: an initial preparation phase and a second phase of the actual challenge, with thirteen mathematical problems to be solved in five hours.

The results were excellent: the OverkillaTO team managed to solve seven problems, placing them one step away from qualifying for the European Champioship EUC and bringing the name of Politecnico into the rankings in a way that hasn't happened since 2017, when, three years before the student team was founded, another team from the University ranked eighth.

"We are very happy with the results obtained, but we are not satisfied – CPPoliTO members commented – We have studied hard for the competition and we are ready to train for the next edition of SWERC to try to achieve a medal and qualify for the European Championship. As a team we are ready: this goal has motivated us and made us proud, we cannot give up now".