Programming Comes Home Successful

By Ben Walker
Staff Writer

A group of students from Westford Academy’s Programming Club traveled to Fitchburg State to participate in a competition on Friday, December 5, 2014. They were divided into three teams and they all did exceedingly well. The first team was juniors Michael Colavita, Alok Puranik, Nihaal Korandla, and sophomore Kartik Singh. The second team was made up of junior Pranav Nanga, sophomore Nihar Sheth, and freshmen Andrew Sun and Harshal Sheth. WA’s third team consisted of juniors Jonathan Shee, Rama Mannava, and Emily Earl, and sophomore Zachary Hillman.

Westford Academy was one of the many schools that competed throughout New England, and any private or public high school could compete. This particular competition was first come first serve, and each school could only send three teams. This year there were approximately fifty teams who competed.

All the members who competed
All the members who competed (photo provided by Anjli Trehan)

When the competition started, each team was given a series of sixteen programming equations.

“They had to brainstorm and find the solution to those programming problems[…],” said club advisor Anjli Trehan. “A bunch of teams could finish all sixteen problems successfully, in which case they decide which team did it in the least amount of time.”

The club's first team who placed first overall
Team #1 who placed first overall (Left to right) Nihaal Korandla, Kartik Singh, Alok Puranik, and Michael Colavita (photo provided by Anjli Trehan)

Team one placed first in the competition and finished their problems in record time.

“It was great to see that we had worked so well as a team,” said Puranik. “It was also the first time this specific team of four competed together. It was a great feeling to know that we finally were able to make first place.”

Team two completed all sixteen of their given problems as well and ended up coming in seventh place.

” I am proud of how my team did. We managed to solve all of the questions under the time limit,” said Nanga.

The final team also did well and completed fifteen of their sixteen problems. They ended up finishing in fourteenth place.

“This was my first time that I used my programming skills in a competitive way, so it was a great first experience,” said Earl. “We put in a lot of effort, and it led to a wonderful result.”

The club will participate in a few more competitions in the coming months. One of them is at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in March. Also, the United States of America Computing Olympiad holds several monthly online contests. These competitions take place from November through April.