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300+ High Schoolers Compete at the Fall 2019 Battle of the Brains: High School Programming Competition

The Fall 2019 Battle of the Brains: High School Programming Competition was held on November 2nd, with State Farm Insurance sponsoring the event. Registration for the Fall 2019 competition was free, thanks to the sponsorship. The contest drew more than 300 high school students from all over North Texas, with teams coming from top high school schools in the DFW Metroplex, Abilene, Austin, and Houston. In addition to the contest in the afternoon, the UT Dallas CS Department conducted hands-on workshops on Machine Learning & Web App Design for the high school students and their teachers as well as tech talks on Cyber Security & Blockchain during the morning. The CS Department also hosted a DFW Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) meeting in the afternoon.

The contest, which follows ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) style, is held twice a year on the UT Dallas campus with UT Dallas CS professors, Drs. Ivor Page and Jey Veerasamy, overseeing the contest. The problem set for this fall’s contest were crafted by some of the best UT Dallas Computer Science competitive programming team members and computing scholars. UT Dallas CS Professor, Dr. Bhadrachalam Chitturi, was on hand to review and to fine-tune the complexity of the problems before the contest. During the contest, Dr. Chitturi and the student volunteers assisted the competition by servings as judges, moderating the contest, answering technical questions, proctoring, and helping teams get the best from our computer systems. Dr. Veerasamy and his group of graduate students provided practical assistance with event logistics and coordination.

The contest began at 11:30 AM, with students subsequently adjourning to three separate computer labs to start the 30-minute practice portion of the contest. Immediately following was the main contest, which went for three hours. Teams of up to three high school students completed simultaneous novice and advanced contests. Every team was given the same eleven problems to solve for both levels and was allowed to use only one of the UT Dallas’ lab computers. In order to solve problems, the students were allowed to use only Java 8.45, MinGW C++, MinGW C, Microsoft C/C++, or Python. The contest utilized HackerRank for semi-automatic judging. Teams were ranked according to the number of problems that they solved. In the event of a tie, the teams within the tied group were ranked according to their Penalty Points, fewest comes highest.

Advanced Category

First Place — Richardson High School (RHS), Richardson, TX

Second Place Plano East Senior High School, Plano, TX

Third Place — Lovejoy High School (LHS), Lucas, TX

Novice Category

First Place — Jasper High School, Plano, TX

Second Place — School of Science & Engineering, Dallas, TX

Third Place —Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS), Denton, TX

The Spring 2020 Battle of the Brains: High School Programming Contest will take place on April 25, 2020.

Click here to view all the photos from this fall’s Battle of the Brains: High School Programming Contest


The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 3,315 bachelors-degree students, more than 1,110 master’s students, 165 Ph.D. students,  52 tenure-track faculty members, and 44 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2019. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.

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Department of Computer Science