By G9ija

The National Mathematical Centre (NMC) on Wednesday commenced an annual Nigeria Universities Programming Contest (NUPC) for 25 teams from Nigerian universities in fulfilment of its mandate.

Mrs Oluchi Bamidele the Coordinator, Computer Science Programme of NMC disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Bamidele said that the contest sought to discover young talents in Computer Science /IT and provide undergraduate students with opportunities to interact with their peers from other universities across the country. She said that team members must be undergraduate students, who had had less than five years of undergraduate studies before the competition.

“The contest also seeks to foster creativity, teamwork and innovation in building new software programmes and enable students to test their abilities to perform under pressure, which is  usually five hours long.’’

According to her, each university presents a minimum of one team and a maximum of three teams. Each team comprises three members and a university can have only one coach for all its teams, Bamidele said.

“The NUCPC is the most prestigious national programming contest. The maiden edition held in 2007 and subsequently till 2012. It was however revived in 2018 by the Director/Chief Executive NMC, Prof. Stephen Onah. The event is a platform that plays a vital role in developing team spirit, enhancing the algorithmic problem-solving and programming skills of the students in a competitive environment.

“This year, 25 teams from Nigerian universities registered to participate. At the close of registration today, 16 universities have arrived. Following the changes in the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) model this year, the National Mathematical Centre is to host the 2019 Nigerian Collegiate Programming Contest. The ICPC foundation has already sent a team from Africa and Arab Collegiate Programming Championship in Egypt to Coordinate the NCPC contest,’’ Bamidele explained.

She mentioned that the Collegiate Programming Contest had been on in different countries within Africa and the Arab region since the middle of August. She said: “the contest will qualify teams to participate in Africa – Arab Collegiate Programming Championship (ACPC) which takes place every November, thereafter ACPC champions will’ represent Nigeria in the World Finals.’’