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Two silver medals for l’X at the SWERC programming contest

Two teams of students from l’X ranked respectively 4th and 6th at the prestigious Southwestern Europe Regional Contest (SWERC) 2020-2021 organized by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and hosted online by Institut Polytechnique de Paris.

L'équipe SWERC 2020-2021 de l'Ecole polytechnique

École Polytechnique bagged two silver medals at the SWERC (Southwestern Europe Regional Contest) programming competition, its teams ranking respectively 4th and 6th.

SWERC is a 5-hour programming contest for teams of three students, focused on algorithmic problem solving and practical coding. It is open to teams from France, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. SWERC serves as the regional selection phase for the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).

The 2020-2021 edition was organised by Institut Polytechnique de Paris and took place on March 6th-7th as an online contest due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, 6 students from l’X were involved in the contest. Overall, 109 teams took part in the contest, coming from 51 institutions from 6 southwestern European countries: France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Israel. Last year, l’X won the contest as well as a gold and a silver medal.

To win the contest, students need to excel in mathematics, algorithmics and programming. L’X students were supported by the Computer Science Department of l’X, especially Marie-Paule Cani,  Samuel Mimram and Eric Goubault, to help them with their training. The coach Hang Zhou organised intensive training in the framework of a new formation consisting of three courses on advanced competitive programming. She prepared the teams with the assistance of Nathanaël Courant.

"Despite many difficulties in preparing for the SWERC 2020-2021 contest, notably because of the lockdown and remote training, our students trained every week, with several sessions per week, including evenings and weekends, for a year," Hang Zhou emphasized.

For the students, being involved in the ACM SWERC contest can be a career booster. In the short term, this experience can lead to an internship, the integration of a master or PhD in the best international universities. This experience can also help students to get a job in large international companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple or IBM.

L’X’s SWERC teams:

Team EP Epsilon (4th, Silver medal): Marc Dufay, Killian Dengreville, et Matthias Hasler.

Team EP Rouje (6th, Silver medal): François Sellier, Thomas Sepulchre, et Alexandre Thiault.

Six other students were members of the backup team and ready to step in, if any of the incumbents had to forfeit due to the Covid-19 pandemic : Henry Bambury, Louis Cousturian, Antoine Stark, Alexandre Kirchmeyer, Paul-Adrien Nicole, and Grégoire Anquetin.