08 Sep 2017
Team P=NP – Year 13 student Chris Jung, Year 12 student Wills Wynn Thomas and Year 9 student Janindu Pahalawatta – won the schools category of the 2017 New Zealand Programming Contest after being catapulted into the lead when Chris solved a particularly tricky 100-point problem.
The University of Canterbury hosted the competition on Saturday 19 August. With all teams working on the same mind-boggling coding problems – graded according to difficulty and worth either 3, 10, 30 or 100 points – contestants had five hours and one computer to score as many points as they could.
Chris, Wills and Janindu played to their strengths. Chris focused on the difficult problems, Wills tackled the easier ones and Janindu helped where he could, enjoying working with and learning from the senior students. They all agree they love the challenge of programming, working on a problem, finding the most elegant solution, writing the code – and, in particular, the sense of satisfaction when they get it right.