News Release

UCSD Computer Programmers to Represent U.S. at World Finals in China

UCSD Rock members are headed to Shanghai (l-r): William Matthews, Michael Vrable and Kevin Lee

San Diego, CA, December 1, 2004 -- Three computer science students from UCSD will represent the United States at the 29th ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) World Finals in Shanghai, China, next April 3-7. This will be UCSD's fifth appearance at the World Finals in the past six years..

The team, UCSD Rock, came in second at the Southern California regional programming trials last month. Michael Vrable, William Matthews and Kevin Lee completed the same number of problems as the top-ranked Caltech team (five), but took slightly longer to solve them. That was close enough to earn the team a wild-card slot in the World Finals.

The  selection announced today means that the UCSD team is one of the only 76 teams out of 4,100 worldwide to advance to the 2005 ACM-ICPC World Finals sponsored by IBM and hosted by Shanghai Jiaotong University. "Our students did extremely well in the regional competition," said Computer Science and Engineering professor Bradley Calder, the teams' faculty advisor. "Two of our teams placed in the top five, and all four of our teams placed in the top eleven in the regional finals. We are extremely proud that this talented group of students will represent the U.S. in Shanghai."

UCSD is the only university to have fielded three teams in the top ten at the 2004 ACM Southern California Programming Contest. Some 65 teams from southern California and southern Nevada took part in the competition at Riverside Community College in Riverside on November 13, where they vied for a chance to represent the region in the world programming contest in China. While UCSD Rock was the runner-up, UCSD Scissors placed fourth in the regional contest, with team members Nick Butko, Jan Schellenberger and Nakul Verma solving four problems. UCSD fielded two other teams that placed 8th and 11th: UCSD Paper (Kian Win Ong, Jan Voung and Richard Liu); and UCSD RPS (Taurin Tan

-atichat, Matthew Wytock and Hon Keong Chan).

With three of its teams in the top ten in Riverside, UCSD led other regional powerhouses in computer science. Caltech, Harvey Mudd and UCLA each had two teams in the top ten, and UC Santa Barbara just one.

According to Calder, Mike Dini of the Dini Group ( has agreed to underwrite the cost of sending UCSD's team and coaches to the finals in Shanghai. The Dini Group is the principal sponsor of the annual UCSD programming contest as well.
For more on the World Finals, go to For more on the UCSD competition, go to For details on the regional contest, go to
Media Contacts

Doug Ramsey
Jacobs School of Engineering