Female students from more than 20 high schools in upstate New York and New York City competed Feb. 23 in Cornell’s first High School Girls Programming Contest, aimed at encouraging more girls to compete in the Department of Computer Science’s annual programming contest open to all students in the spring.
Nineteen students at Gates Hall and 45 at Cornell Tech’s Bloomberg Center competed simultaneously on eight coding problems via audio-video link.
The event included a “tips and tricks” session followed by a two-hour competition. Participants were grouped into teams, with various levels of programming experience, to solve medium to hard programming problems.
First prize went to the team of Zoe Marschner of Ithaca High School and Jessica Tang of Pittsford Mendon High School, who solved five of the eight problems. A team from Stuyvesant High School took second place, and a team from the New Explorations in Science, Technology and Math School finished third.
The event ended with a talk by doctoral student Claire Liang about her path to becoming a robotics researcher.
Participants were encouraged to also sign up for the annual High School Programming Contest on April 5.
“Our goal is to increase diversity in the general high school programming contest that we run each year,” said computer science research professor Robbert van Renesse, who coordinated the event. “Programming contests tend to be unbalanced, and we are looking for ways to encourage participation from every high school student.”