UTCS Hosts 5th Annual UIL Computing Contest


2014 UT Computing Contest T-shirt DesignOn Saturday, February 1st, the computer science department hosted 172 students from 32 different high schools at the 5th annual UTCS University Interscholastic League (UIL) Contest. Teams from all over the state traveled to compete in the open format contest. In addition to local Austin area schools, there were entries from Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Lubbock, Weslaco, Blanco, Buna, Andrews, and Port Aransas.

Students began the day with a tour of the Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall (GDC) and demos from Freshman Research (FRI) Initiative students.

The computer science competition itself consisted of an individual written test in the morning and a team-programming contest in the afternoon. Teams of three students tackled twelve programming problems, trying to solve as many of them as possible in the two-hour time limit. About 60 UTCS students volunteered to help with building tours, a quadcopter demonstration, judging and grading, and various other duties.

Robert Mitchell of Cypress Ranch High School, Andrew Liu of Cypress Woods High School, Michael Lopiccolo of William P. Clement High School, and Tres of Seven Lakes High School all tied for first place on the written exam in the large school division. Each student missed only one of 40 questions over Java programming, algorithms and data structures. The small school winner was Paras Arora of Harmony Science Academy North Austin 1.

The team of Raymond Chee, Michael Li, and Michael Lopiccolo of William P. Clements High School achieved the highest programming score during the afternoon competition. The team solved 12 of the 12 programming problems.

Team members combined written scores and their programming score to determine overall results. In the large school division (high school classifications of 4A and 5A), the team of Raymond Chee, Michael Li, and Michael Lopiccolo from William P. Clements High School took first place honors with a score of 1,400 out of possible 1,440. The team is coached by their computer science teacher, Lubna Lorena. Originally, William P. Clements high school was on the waitlist. Michael Scott explained, "Their teacher, Lubna Lorena told me to call, no matter how late, if a spot opened up, that they would be there. We had a cancellation at 4pm on Friday January 31—less than 16 hours before the contest start time! I called Lubna expecting her to say, thanks but no thanks. Instead she said "We will be there." She had obtained permission from her principle to attend if a spot did open up; she and her students were actually practicing in her room when I called. They drove up from Houston Saturday morning and their first team won the contest."

The small school division (high school classifications of 1A, 2A, and 3A) was led by the team of Cameron Egger, Austin Mager, and William Schodek. They are coached by Delta McFarland, the computer science teacher at Needville High School.

UIL sponsors and coordinates high school academic competitions in 22 areas including computer science. High school students compete in a series of open and invitational contests in the fall and winter, and then attempt to qualify for the state competition via district and regional contests.

Top Places

Top three teams in large school (UIL 4a and 5a)

  • 1st Place: William P. Clements High School
  • 2nd Place: Cypress Woods High School
  • 3rd Place: Cypress Ranch High School

Top three teams in small school (UIL 1A - 3A)

  • 1st Place: Needville 1 High School
  • 2nd Place: Blanco High School
  • 3rd Place: Needville 2 High School

Top individuals large school (UIL 4a and 5a):

  • 1st Place (4-way tie)Robert Mitchell, Cypress Ranch High School; Andrew Liu, Cypress Woods High School; Michael Lopiccolo, William P. Clements High School; Tres Brenan, Seven Lakes High School
  • 5th place (9 way tie)Darrin Wiley, Cypress Woods High School 1; Raymond Chee, William P. Clements High School; Michael Li, William P. Clements High School; Xinhe (Jim) Ren, William P. Clements High School; Jonathan Zong, James E. Taylor High School; Dayoung Lee, James E. Taylor; Arnav Sastry, Liberal Arts & Science Academy (LBJ); Reid Long, Southlake Carroll High School; Young Wang, Westwood High School

Top three individuals in small school (UIL 1A - 3A)

  • 1st Place: Paras Arora, Harmony Science Academy North Austin 1
  • 2nd Place: William Schodek, Needville High School 1
  • 3rd Place: Austin Mager, Needville High School 1

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