By Naren Hazareesingh
Mauritian Naren Hazareesingh’s UChicago team advances to world finals
For the fourth year in a row, a team of three University of Chicago students has qualified for the World Finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest, organized by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
The team, called “Whiteboard Erasers,” placed second in the Mid-Central USA regional contest on Nov. 5, while two other UChicago teams placed ninth and 16th in a 142-team field of universities in Illinois, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee. Along with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, UChicago was the only other school in the region to place three teams among the top 20.
Due to its solid performance in the regional, “Whiteboard Erasers” was invited to participate in the World Finals, which will take place May 17 in Warsaw, Poland. Only 110 teams in the world, out of more than 8,000 teams representing more than 2,000 universities in 88 countries, earned this distinction.
The UChicago team of second-year students includes computer science major Naren Hazareesingh, mathematics major Joe DiCapua and physics major Kevin Wang. Borja Sotomayor, lecturer in computer science, coaches the team, with help from assistant Louis Wasserman, a fourth-year mathematics major.
The ACM-International Collegiate Programming Contest is a yearly contest in which teams from around the world compete by solving computer programming problems. The contest starts with a regional phase, spanning October through December, when each of the ICPC world regions holds contests. Based on the results of the regional contests, teams are invited to participate in the World Finals.
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Taking the tram to France: Hansley Maudhub
Hansley Maudhub, from Goodlands, who has been studying in Australia, is off to France to work with Keolis, the country’s largest private-sector transport group.
The RMIT University student of electrical engineering has already spent six months with Yarra Trams in Melbourne. Now he will complete the year-long internship in Lyon at the French parent company of Yarra Trams, the first of its kind to be awarded.
Mr Maudhub, a former pupil of Adolphe de Plenitz State Secondary School in Grand-Bay, embodies RMIT’s mission to be a global university of technology and design.
He went to Melbourne from Mauritius to study only four years ago and is now heading to Europe with the assistance of the RMIT International Industry Experience and Research Program (RIIERP).
“In France, I’m going to be looking at the differences between the tram network in Melbourne, which is very old, and in Lyon, which is very new. I’ll be taking ideas with me from Melbourne and in turn looking for ways to improve Melbourne’s iconic tram network,” he said.
Mr Maudhub’s manager in Melbourne, Susan Patrick, said: “Hansley has been an excellent addition to the project management team at Yarra Trams. In his time with us he has been heavily involved in a number of power projects. Hansley has not only developed his electrical engineering expertise while at Yarra Trams, he has enhanced his problem-solving, communications and team work skills.”
RIIERP Director, Professor Sylvester Abanteriba, said: “As an international student, Hansley’s internship is of special significance, since it allows him to combine the rigorous education at RMIT in the Australian cultural environment with excellent technical industry training under French cultural conditions.
“It is also worth noting that each year international students constitute about 30 per cent of RIIERP’s participants.”
Yarra Trams is operated by KDR Victoria, a partnership between Keolis and Australian infrastructure management company, Downer EDI.
* Published in print edition on 13 January 2012