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AUS students win Gulf Programming Contest
Three students from the College of Engineering (CEN) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) have won first place at the prestigious Gulf Programming Contest held at the University of Sharjah (UoS) recently. This is the third time an AUS team has won the event.
Because of the team's past and present success, it will be participating in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) to be held in Orlando, Florida this May, as one of the 100 teams selected from around the world.
The aim of the contest was to test students majoring in computing-related majors to demonstrate their skills in programming and problem solving, network with students from other institutions and to prepare student teams for participating in global and regional events.
The winning team comprised Nour Nour, a senior student from Egypt who is double majoring in computer and chemical engineering; Omar Al Reyami, a senior student majoring in computer engineering and Omar Al Muhairi, a junior student from the UAE who is double majoring in mechanical and computer engineering. The team was taught and guided by their coach, Dr. Ghassan Qadah, Associate Professor in Computer Engineering at AUS.
"We feel very proud of these students for their dedication and hard work. We feel that they're on par with the colleges around the world. AUS has made it again!" said Dr. Qadah. He also talked about his experience as a coach and his participation in the contest. "I have been coaching students since I joined AUS nine years ago. The contest is important locally, regionally, and globally. Over the last four years, we have won many of the local and regional programming contests," he added.
Nour talked about the importance of the award, mentioning how previous winners of the competition got job offers from some of the best employers in the region. "Teamwork was the key. The number one point for students who want to win would be to practice and build teamwork skills," he said, giving advice to students who wish to follow his team's success.
"University can't always show us application behind our studies. The contest and the application required relates our methodical theories to our real-world skills," said Al Reyami. All three students have ideas of what they want to do when they graduate, with Al Reyami and Al Muhairi wishing to do their master's degrees in parallel computing and mechatronics, respectively. Nour, however, has slightly different plans. "I would like to go and work for Google. It's very challenging to get a job there,but at least by winning this competition, I might get an interview," he said.
The ACM-ICPC held in Orlando, Florida, is a multi-tier, team-based programming competition operating under ACM and headquartered at Baylor University. The contest involves a global network of universities hosting regional competitions that advance teams to the ACM-ICPC World Finals. Participation has grown to tens of thousands of students and faculty in computing disciplines at almost 2,000 universities from over 80 countries on six continents. The contest aims to encourage teamwork, creativity, and innovation in building new software programs and tests students in their ability to perform under pressure.