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Photo by Steven Rodkiss

Canterbury Schools Programming Competition

Steven Rodkiss —

Canterbury's biggest inter-schools programming competition organised by Burnside High School

The University of Canterbury kindly hosted the Canterbury Schools Programming Competition on Saturday 27th of June in their computer labs. This was the third year of the competition and it continues to grow, providing an opportunity for students throughout Canterbury to test their programming skills against others in the region. This year we welcomed over 70 students from eight different schools to the venue, from beginners all the way up to students who have competed in the national competitions over the past few years.

The competition saw students working together in teams to solve fifteen increasingly complex coding puzzles over a three hour period with all code marked automatically by the computer. Teams were ranked on how many questions they answered, how accurate they were and how quickly they could get through the puzzles. The team “P=NP Returns” from Christ’s College took out the top prize, answering all but the hardest of the questions in the allocated time. Team members Janindu Pahalawatta and Bruce Chen were outstanding throughout and as year 12 students, will be hard to beat next year.

Cashmere High’s Ryan Moore and Jake van Kuelen came second and St Andrew’s College’s team of Toby Harvie, Tom Edwards and Henry Twiss took third place.

Burnside High had teams that ended in 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th place but have a bit of work to do to bring back the trophy that we held in 2019 when the event runs again next year. Well done to first time competitors Jacky Zhang, Matthew Mercer and Tim Fisher-Taylor on their 4th place.

The event has grown from strength to strength in the past few years and a special thank you must go to Dr Richard Lobb from the University of Canterbury who hosted us again and provided pizza and refreshments. This collaboration with UC and the local region schools is invaluable. The experience was really enjoyable and it was great to have our top programmers soaking up the UC atmosphere. Hopefully it will give them some food for thought when thinking about what University to attend for their Computer Science degrees.