‘The 2022 ICPC Asia Topi Online Preliminary Programming Contest’
The year, 2022, has so far been very happening for ICPC Asia Topi, organizing multiple programming contests all year round. Starting off with The 2021 ICPC Asia Topi Online and Regional Onsite programming contests that were held earlier in January and March, 2022, respectively, with a participation of around 450 contestants from various universities all across Pakistan. These mega events were followed by, a first of its kind, provincial speed programming contest introduced as ‘Challenging the Geeks of Baluchistan-CGB’ organized under a joint consortium of Ignite, GIK Institute and ICPC Asia Topi, held in Quetta on 24-25 October, 2022. The exciting event was yet to be followed by another challenging milestone; ‘The 45th ICPC World Finals’ held at Dhaka, Bangladesh from 6-11 November, 2022 where in a team from FAST-NUCES, Lahore represented Pakistan receiving an honorable mention. Towards the end of the year, 17-18 December, 2022 GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology successfully organized an all-Pakistan online programming contest titled as ‘The 2022 ICPC Asia Topi Online Preliminary Programming Contest” which shall be followed by a Regional Onsite Contest in February, 2023.
‘The 2022 ICPC Asia Topi Online Preliminary Programming Contest” was held over a period of two days, such that a mock round was conducted on 17th December, 2022 and the actual contest was held on 18th December, 2022. The event was inaugurated with a brief talk on “Introduction to Competitive Programming” by Dr. Masroor Hussain, Regional Contest Director ICPC Asia Topi. Dr. Hussain shed some light on the historical aspects of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) at Pakistan and the various challenges faced by the pioneers in setting up a regional center in the country. He also spoke about the 45th ICPC World Finals at Bangladesh, highlighting the core areas where our students need to improve in order to perform well in the competitive programming contests. He emphasized on inculcating creativity in the young minds, which he believes is not a part of our conventional educational system at Pakistan, thus, leading to a lag in the art of thinking, creating and solving among students which indeed is a key requisite for developing excellence in algorithmic problem solving. He spoke of the amount of time and money that countries like Egypt and Jordan are investing in ICPC events. Adding to it, Egypt shall be hosting the 46th ICPC World Finals in November, 2023. In Pakistan, on the contrary, we yet struggle with the lack of awareness of the significance of ICPC contests.
The inaugural talk was followed by an interactive zoom session by Ms. Ayesha Siddiqa, Software Engineer at Noon, Dubai with a talk on “How ICPC can build your Career?”. Ms. Ayesha spoke about the significance of problem solving skills in the field of computer science and software engineering. She added that tech giants like Google, Apple, Amazon, Netflix etc. emphasize on problem solving skills of the candidate during interviews. She also said that ICPC contests provide a unique platform to improve and showcase one’s problem solving and programming skills and hence, builds one’s career by attracting employers as most of the globally reputed companies hire the brightest computing candidates screening through their ICPC profiles. She mentioned that Noon, Dubai which is a leading E-commerce company operating in UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, already competing Amazon in the region, specifically hires from ICPC contestants. Pakistan being at the bottom of the list in ICPC World Final’s rankings least attracts tech giants for hiring from the region. On the contrary, the ICPC ranking of Jordan and Syria is far better than Pakistan despite of their lack of resources, yet, their immense hard work and time investment into these contests is paying off. She motivated the students to improve their profiles by participating in the prestigious ICPC contests and work on the global ranking of Pakistan in problem solving to attract tech giants into Pakistan.
|SN.||University Name||SN.||University Name|
|1.||COMSATS University Islamabad||10.||Mohammad Ali Jinnah University|
|2.||Institute of Business Administration||11.||University of Management and Technology|
|3.||Military College of Signals, NUST||12.||Habib University, Karachi|
|4.||FAST-NUCES Islamabad||13.||National University of Modern Languages|
|6.||NU-FAST Karachi||15.||FAST-NUCES Peshawar|
|7.||Information Technology University||16.||NUST Baluchistan Campus|
|8.||University of Central Punjab||17.||CUST|
|9.||Bahria University, Karachi||18.||PUCIT|
The talks were followed by a three hour long online mock session of the contest. Around 144 teams, 432 contestants, from 19 different universities across Pakistan participated in the contest. A list of the universities participating in the contest is mentioned below:
Information Technology University (Team Titans), Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (Team AC47 and Team First Triumvirate) made it to the top three positions, respectively, in the mock session. The mock round was followed by an interactive zoom session by Dr. Masroor Hussain for the contestants conducting a training on Python and Domjudge.
The final Online Preliminary contest was conducted on 18th December, 2022. The contest was followed by a talk given by Ms. Iffat Maab who is a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of Engineering in University of Tokyo. She shared her amazing experience of more than five years with ICPC Asia Topi as Associate Director and specifically guided students on learning techniques. She briefly discussed about her research work which addresses misinformation detection in the context of Natural Language Processing (NLP) using deep learning techniques. Ms. Iffat announced the results of the contest after her talk. The first prize in the final contest was bagged by Syed Basim Mehmood, Hamza Hasan Ellahie and Mujtaba Omar (Team AC47) from GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, mentored by Mr. Jalees Ur Rahman. The second prize was won by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rahman, Ahsan Abdur Rehman and Muhammad Ibrahim (Team Titans) from Information Technology University, the team been coached by Mr. Sarfaraz Raza. Muhammad Saad, Musab Kasbati and Ali Ahsan (Team Code Warriors) mentored by Mr. Waqar Saleem from Habib University, Karachi won the third prize.
Prof. Dr. Francesco Maurelli from Jacobs University, Germany as a distinguished speaker at the contest gave a talk on “Artificial Intelligence and Marine Robotics”. He has explained the working of an autonomous submarine using advance machine learning algorithms. He was really pleased with his GIK Institute visit and hospitality and praised ICPC Pakistan for this training workshops and the contest.
A panel of eight national and international judges/trainers presided the contest with Dr. Syed Fawad Hussain as a Chief Judge from University of Birmingham. Dr. Raja Hashim Ali from GIK Institute and Dr. Usman Habib joined from FAST-NUCES, Islamabad. Ms. Ayesha Siddiqa joined from Noon, Dubai whereas Mr. Sauban bin Usman from Bolt, Estonia were included in the jury. The judging committee further comprised of Dr. Syed Atif Mehdi from University of Central Punjab, Dr. Arshad Islam from FAST-NUCES Islamabad and Dr. Yasir Niaz Khan from University of Lahore. The jury also conducted a training workshop on problems related to Tricky path, The closely linked mammals – Dolphins and Humans, Emergency travelling plan, the art of war, 2D Water Reservoir using stack, Spray in Agriculture, and Adjacent tiles that were included in the contest.
ICPC Asia Topi appreciates the relentless efforts of its core team Dr. Masroor Hussain, Director ICPC Asia Topi, Sarah Sajjad, Deputy Regional Contest Director, Ali Shaukat, Marketing Chair, Usman Haider & Shakir Ahmad as Systems Co-chairs and Sagheer Khan as Webmaster. We also admire the valuable support from the judging committee for their significant contribution into the event. We are highly indebted to Prof. Dr. Fazal A. Khalid, Rector GIK Institute, Prof. Dr. Wasim A. Khan, Pro-Rector (A), Sardar Aminullah Khan (Pro-Rector A&F), Dr. Ahmar Rashid (Dean FCSE) and Director (IT) for their overwhelming support and cooperation in organizing the event.
Special thanks to Noon for their generous sponsorship towards this mega event. This was not possible without the support of ICPC Asia Topi sponsors who have been the backbone of the event. Special thanks GeniTeam, Higher Education Commission Pakistan, Quixel, Epic Games, ACM GIK Chapter and Graduate Student Societie.
Snapshot Glimpse of the Event
Lab view of teams participating from CUST, FAST-NUCES Peshawar and Habib University, Karachi
Invigilators, Mentors and Staff on Duty at CUST
Inaugural Talk by Dr. Masroor Hussain, Director ICPC Asia Topi and Ms. Ayesha Siddiqa, Software Engineer, Noon, Dubai
Speaker and Judges at GIK
Closing talks and results announcement by Ms. Iffat Maab and Prof. Dr. Francisco Murali
Teams Solving Problem in least Time
Scoreboard View: Top 12 teams of the contest