On 5 May 2018, MGCI competed in the final round of the Educational Computing Organization of Ontario (ECOO) Programming Contests at York University. MGCI finished successfully, with Team 2 placing second and the Girls Team placing fourth provincially.

The ECOO competition was held at the board-wide, regional, and provincial level, with questions increasing in difficulty at each level. Teams were composed of four members each with a maximum of three teams per school, provided that one of them was an all-girls team. With only one computer, the teams were allotted three hours to solve four problems with a maximum of two attempts per problem. In addition to the hundred points per question, there was a time bonus and ten extra marks for a perfect submission on the first attempt on a problem.

For all TDSB schools, each round of the competition was held at York University in two lecture halls. At the end of each round, everyone was served a pizza lunch and pop. Starting from the regional round, there were doughnuts available during the contest and prize draws at the end of the contest.

Three teams represented MGCI this year, consisting of: Team 1 (Victor Rong, Kevin Wan, Henry Tang, Richard Zhang), Team 2 (Roger Fu, Linus Chen, George Chen, Jeffrey Liu), and Girls Team (Ava Pun, Jennifer Liang, Megan Niu, Dora Su).

Two of MGCI’s teams at the final round of competition with supervisor, Mr. Brossard. Photo: Ava Pun

At the board-wide competition, which took place on 24 March 2018, all of MGCI’s teams finished in the top eighteen, making it to the regional round. Team 1 finished third, Team 2 finished first, and the Girls Team finished fourth. The regional competition included approximately seventy teams in the Central Ontario region. MGCI Team 2 and the Girls Team both qualified for the provincial round, placing first and sixth respectively, while Team 1 finished 24th, missing out on qualifying for provincials.

In the final round, participants competed for the York University Cup and cash prizes. Since the questions were more difficult, many teams received partial marks. MGCI Team 2 was the only team to fully solve two problems, granting them a second place finish. The Girls Team narrowly missed the podium, finishing fourth overall.

MGCI Team 2 places 2nd Place at Provincials. Photo: Ava Pun

Overall, MGCI had phenomenal results in the ECOO contest this year. The Girls Team had the best performance of any previous all-girls teams who participated in the contest. It also marked the first year MGCI finished in the top three for the provincial round.

Many team members attributed their success to supervisors Mr. Jay and Mr. Brossard, and the Computer Science Club. Roger Fu, President of Computer Science Club, said, “I believe our teams performed exceptionally well this year due to their passion for computer science and the efforts they made to prepare for ECOO.” Additionally, Mr. Brossard commented on the results: “The teams have a knack of learning autonomously and Computer Science Club helped them complete amazing feats.”