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400 High Schoolers Compete at this Spring’s Battle of the Brains: HS Programming Competition

The Spring 2018 Battle of the Brains: High School Programming Competition was held on April 7th, with State Farm Insurance sponsoring the event. Registration for the Spring 2018 competition was free, thanks to the sponsorship. The contest drew more than 117 teams comprising approximately 400 high school students from all over North Texas, including teams coming from top schools in the DFW Metroplex, Abilene, and Austin.

The contest, which follows ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) style, is held twice a year at the UT Dallas campus with UT Dallas CS professors, Drs. Ivor Page and Jey Veerasamy, overseeing the contest. UT Dallas CS students, Xander Wong, Darrin Wiley, Max Xie, Henry Wang, Catherine O’Mary, Antonio Mendiola, Skye Pekerti, Sasi Morsa, Nandhini Subramanian, Mohammadreza Haghpanah, Rupali Kumari, and Sean Kennedy, were also in attendance as volunteers helping with the competition.

The contest began at 10 AM, with students subsequently adjourning to three separate computer labs to start the 40-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 ten 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 or Microsoft C/C++. The contest utilized PC2 (Programming Contest Control system) for semi-automatic judging.

The scoring system of the contest was based not just on the number of attempts, but also their timing. For example, if a team solves problem x on their third attempt at time y (minutes into the contest), their penalty points for that problem would be y + 2*20 (20 minutes penalty for each failed attempt). If that team never solves problem z after n attempts their penalty points for that problem would be zero.

Teams are designated by their teachers/coaches to be either Advanced or Novices. The top three teams on the PC2 Scoreboard at the end of the contest were awarded the top three places in the advanced division, irrespective of these designations.

The top three Novice Awardees are then the top three declared Novice teams that remain. A Novice team could be awarded a top-three place in the Advanced Category but could not win spots in both divisions.

Below is the final list of winning teams for both the advanced and novice levels.

Advanced Level Winners Novice Level Winners
1. Plano West A4, solved 10 problems in only 13 attempts 1. 1. Plano West N3, solved 8 problems in 16 attempts
2. St Dominic A1, solved 9 problems in 20 attempts 2. Plano West N1, solved 6 problems in 17 attempts
3. Plano West A1, solved 9 problems in 14 attempts 3. Lovejoy N1, solved 5 problems in 15 attempts


Below is the list of the top 23 teams.

Top 23
Plano West A4
St. Dominic A1
Plano West A1
Cypress Woods A1
Richardson A2
Richardson A1
Plano West N3
Plano West N2
Liberty A1
Centennial A2
Reedy A1
Plano West N1
Lovejoy A1
Coppell A1
Heritage A2
Plano A1
Plano East A1
Coram Deo A1
Cypress Woods A2
Reedy A2
Lovejoy A2
Carroll A1
Lovejoy N1


The next Battle of the Brains: High School Programming Contest will be held this fall on October 27th,  at the UT Dallas Computer Science Department.

Below are photos from the Battle of the Brains: High School Programming Competition.

If you would like to view all the photos from the event, click here.


The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 2,400 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1,000 master’s students, 150 Ph.D. students,  53 tenure-track faculty members and 38 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2017. 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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