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AUS team wins a coveted prize in a computing machinery contest
The AUS Lions, the computer science and computer engineering team of American University of Sharjah (AUS), won the top prize in the extreme programming category at the 14th Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) - Arab Collegiate Programming Contest held November 26-29, 2011 at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon.
The Extreme Programming Award is given to the team that submits the first successful solution in the shortest amount of time.
"The AUS students got this award because they were able to go through the questions, know which question is the easiest, logged into the system of the contest, wrote the code for the question, tested it and submitted it in only six minutes, which is considered a record time for this contest," said Dr. Yousef Al-Assaf, Dean of the College of Engineering.
Competing teams in the contest were made up of three students each. The AUS Lions comprised Omar Khalifa Al Muhairi, Ahmed Tarek El Sayed and Abdul Rahim Haddad, all from the College of Engineering.
Each team had to solve a set of nine problems using a single computer to provide solutions that involved writing programs using C, C++ or JAVA. Teams were ranked based on the number of problems they managed to solve as well as the penalties they accumulated in solving these problems.
Overall, 56 teams from 38 universities from across the Middle East and North African region participated. These included teams from Cairo University, Ain Shams University, the German University in Cairo, Masdar Institute, New York University Abu Dhabi, American University of Beirut, Carnegie Mellon of Qatar and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Twelve countries were represented in this year's contest, namely United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and Lebanon.
The victory gives the AUS Lions an opportunity to represent the Arab Region, along with two other teams, in the upcoming 2012 ACM-International Collegiate Programming Contest, sponsored by IBM, which will be held in May 2012. The international contest, regarded as the World Programming Finals, is a prestigious event where only 100 teams from among 8,700 worldwide teams representing over 1,900 universities in 86 countries are selected for participation.
The AUS Lions, which placed sixth in the cumulative results of the competition, were coached by Dr. Ghassan Qadah, Dr. Gerassimos Barlas and Dr. Khaled El-Fakih, professors in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at AUS, who have a long history coaching students in this and other similar competitions.