Young students from the University of Havana’s UH++ team were crowned Latin American champions during the Collegiate Programming Contest, sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM-ICPC) recently held in the U.S. state of South Dakota.
The team of Marcelo Fornet Fornés, Ariel Cruz Cruz and Eloy Pérez Torres (coached by Alfredo Somoza Moreno MSc) took 44th place overall during the tournament, after solving five problems in five hours.
The Collegiate Programming Contest represents the most important university level competition for Computer Science students, and features the participation of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the world.
Although 133 teams, representing the same number of universities, made it to the World Finals, Coach Alfredo Somoza, speaking a few days before the tournament, noted that competitions of this level demand an important effort by Cuban contestants:
“Training with the guys has been intense, above all because they must prepare for the competition and keep up with their degree studies at the same time. Their degree (Mathematics) is one of the University’s most demanding and they’ve got to find time to train.
“Sometimes these competitions feature topics which aren’t included in the study plan, which is why they must work even harder. They have to keep up with their studies just like everyone else. There’s almost no time to rest.
“They often participate in on-line competitions held in different parts of the world. Some of which take place late at night, or even in the early dawn hours, but that’s the time at which the best teams in the world can compete.”
Despite having finished in 12th place during the regional programming tournament, the team “sUrPRise” from the University of Pinar del Río was unable to compete in South Dakota after being denied visas by the U.S. government.
However, the ACM ICPC organizing committee decided to award the group an honorific prize as finalists and the opportunity to participate in the world finals set to take place next year in China.
EDUCATING OUR ELDERS
Senior students at the country’s oldest educational institution recently participated in the 6th EduMayores Workshop 2017, dedicated to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz.
The event, organized by the University of Havana’s Older Adult Faculty, is a space for academic exchanges between these types of groups from all over the country.
Participating in the workshop were directors from the ministries of Higher Education, and Labor and Social Security; as well as representatives of the Cuban Workers’ Federation, the University of Havana, Caribbean Medical Association, Pan American Health Organization, Federation of Cuban Women; and teachers and students from the Psychogerontology department at Puebla’s Benemérita University, in Mexico.
The event brought together 147 delegates from all of the island’s Older Adult Faculties, who discussed the 80 papers selected to be presented during the event. During the last day of EduMayores, students from the Psychology department hosted a panel entitled “Youth study old age.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Rector of the University Extension department, Rita Real Blanco MS, speaking during the inaugural session, emphasized, “The 6th EduMayores 2017 takes on a special significance, one of the reasons for which is the fact that we have been celebrating the 290th anniversary of the University of Havana, since January 5.”
The Older Adult Faculty at the almost 300 year old university was founded on February 14, 2000. It was also the first institution of its kind in Cuba and over the years has continued to defend its raison d’être: to create a space where old age is recognized and celebrated.