High school students compete at the Ithaca campus in the annual Cornell University High School Programming Contest.

Cornell Tech, Ithaca campus host high school programming contest

Students participate in the coding contest at Cornell Tech.

For the first time, the Annual Cornell University High School Programming Contest teamed up with Cornell Tech to host simultaneous events on each campus April 6.

The contest, the brain child of CIS research professor Robbert van Renesse, aims to encourage high school students interested in computer science and programming.

Teams of two to three students had three hours to solve as many of the 12 problems provided as possible. For each correct solution, a team received a color-coded balloon.

On the Cornell Tech campus 38 teams represented 15 high schools from four boroughs, Long Island and New Jersey. In Ithaca, 43 teams participated.

Awards for gold, silver and bronze were awarded to the teams in each location who solved the most problems, and a trophy was awarded to the overall winner across both campuses.

The team from Princeton High School took home the overall award, solving 12 out of 12 problems. Teams from Trinity High School and Stuyvesant High School took home the New York City silver and gold, respectively.

The problem set was created by Daniel Fleischman, Ph.D. ’15, who has helped run the competition with Van Renesse since its inception. Fleischman was an enthusiastic programming contestant as an undergrad and flew in to support the Cornell Tech event this year.

“It was really exciting to see this community of young coders come together to compete with so much talent and enthusiasm,” said Diane Levitt, senior director of K-12 Education at Cornell Tech and the organizer of the New York City event. “This is a perfect example of Cornell impact: when our campuses collaborate, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.”

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Rebecca Valli