Virginia Tech Team advances to the 40th ACM-ICPC World Finals

Left to right: Chris Wu, Peter Steele, Dustin Pho, Dr. Ian Barland (contest site director)
Left to right: Chris Wu, Peter Steele, Dustin Pho, Dr. Ian Barland (contest site director)


A team of three students (Dustin Pho, Peter Steele, Chris Wu) have advanced to the ACM-ICPC World Finals by taking 2nd place in the 2015 MidAtlantic Regional intercollegiate programming competition, beating over 183 teams from other universities and colleges in the region. This is the third consecutive year that Virginia Tech’s ACM-ICPC Programming Team, led by its faculty Coach Dr. Godmar Back, has been able to send a team to the world’s premier programming competition for college students.

On November 7th 2015, Virginia Tech fielded seven teams of three students each, who competed among 185 teams from universities and colleges across the Mid-Atlantic region for a coveted spot at the ACM ICPC World Finals, which will be held on Phuket Island, Thailand in May 2016.  The Mid-Atlantic region comprises universities and colleges in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, D.C., East Pennsylvania, and South New Jersey.

The ACM ICPC contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure.  It is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming contest for college students in the world. Each year, almost 40,000 students participate worldwide.

All participating students were CS majors, ranging from sophomores who competed for the first time to seniors who participated for the 2nd or 3rd year.  Virginia Tech’s top-scoring team, which consisted of CS students Dustin Pho, Peter Steele, and Chris Wu, placed overall 2nd to secure a coveted spot at the World Finals. It is expected that only about 20-25 teams from North America will receive an invitation to participate in Thailand.

Overall, the Virginia Tech teams placed #2, #11, #16, #37, and #98, as follows:

#2 Team: “Java The Hutt”

  • Peter Steele
  • Dustin Pho
  • Chris Wu

#11 Team: “C3++”

  • Aziz Yusupov
  • Scott Pruett
  • Hassan Almas

#16 Team “R2O(1)”

  • Nathaniel Lahn
  • Harrison Fang
  • Rupin Khera

#37 Team “Adhocca”

  • Marcus Wanner
  • Monica Wei
  • Phillipe Gray

#98 Team “Modelica Falcon”

  • Katherine Staepel
  • Thomas Gaudioso
  • Madhur Mahajan

Honorable Mention: Team “Princess LUA”

  • Ravi Srinivasan
  • Bryan Kaperick
  • Matthew Petracca

Honorable Mention: Team “Han Kojo”

  • Zachary Hensley
  • Alexander Glasson
  • Jack Geissinger

Our teams prepared in weekly practices and multiple 5-hour mock contests held on the weekends leading up to the regional contest. These practices not only prepare students for the contest, but also prove extremely useful in preparation for interviews for internships and jobs.

The ACM Programming Team is open to all undergraduate students and to graduate students of any major who have not completed more than 5 years of post-K12 education. See here for complete eligibility requirements.

Students interested in participating in the team should contact Team Coach Dr. Godmar Back (, or visit the team web page at

The ACM-ICPC programming team thanks its sponsors Eastman Chemical and the stack@cs center for systems research.

All CS@VT teams are pictured below:


Programming Team 2