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Spotlight: The Arab Academy for Science & Technology

Author
By AbdelRahman
TopCoder Member

Egypt's algorithm contingent has 118 current active members and a country rank of 31, along with one (relatively recent) red coder, mafattah. Not very impressive compared to Russia's 41 reds, perhaps, but given the very recent development of programming education and competition in our country I think we're on our way up. In this article, I'll introduce some of the coders from our community, primarily from my school: the Arab Academy for Science and Technology.

The Arab Academy for Science and Technology (AAST), one of the biggest universities in Egypt and in the Arab world, is the primary home of Egypt's TopCoder community. Originally founded in 1972, AAST has evolved from its roots as a regional maritime academy into a highly competitive school, particularly in regard to programming, and the second most expensive university in the country after the American University in Cairo (AUC).

If you encounter a good programmer from Egypt, odds are that at least one of these four statements is true:

  1. He is a student in the American University in Cairo (AUC).
  2. He is a student in the AAST.
  3. He is a student in the Faculty of Computers and Information (FCI).
  4. He learned programming at the AAST.

While the AUC and FCI are both very strong (with FCI ranked highest among the Egyptian schools on TopCoder's list), one thing that distinguishes the AAST is the Regional Informatics Center (RIC). Here, talented students from all over the country - including other universities - come together to train and compete, for free.


The AAST's Regional Informatics Center
The AAST's Regional Informatics Center

Let's meet some more of the Egyptian coders.

mafattah, Egypt's sole red coder, is a coach at the American University in Cairo. Khaled_912, currently ranked #5 in country, is one of his students. In addition to his TopCoder success, mafattah went to the ACM world finals in 2006 and received his undergraduate degree in electronics engineering through the Citibank Public School Scholarship.

mafattah and his team from American University
mafattah and his team from American University

moh_taha_eg, currently #3 in the country, is one of the best of all, and certainly one of the most influential. A coach in the Informatics Center at the AAST, he never spares an effort to help you, regardless of whether it's a holiday or weekend. He's also an assistant instructor at the AAST -- he teaches algorithms, Java and discrete mathematics, and he taught algorithms to most of the computer science students at the AAST. He's also the coach of the Egyptian IOI (the International Olympiad in Informatics) team and he organized the EOI, which is the Egyptian version of the IOI.

moh_taha_eg monitors the action at AAST's Informatics Center
moh_taha_eg monitors the action at AAST's Informatics Center

Patriot, da_brain_damage and need4speed are the first team at the AAST now (shown below, with moh_taha_eg); they got the first place in the ACM Regional 2006 and went to the finals in Japan. Patriot and da_brain_damage, both named Mostafa, are in the same class in the computer engineering department in the AAST, while need4speed is an assistant at the school.


ACM Final 2007 Japan moh_taha_eg & Patriot & da_brain_damage & need4speed.jpg

cpphamza, currently #6 in the country, is one of the more active TopCoder members from the FCI, and was another participant at the ACM world finals in 2006. aminallam, Yasseryahia, and fegla are other members from that school.

Some other AAST coders also include reda_reda, AbdelRahman, abdo57, HOKSHA and mizofatso.

HOKSHA during a presentation on Pythonů or perhaps doing
HOKSHA during a presentation on Pythonů or perhaps doing "the robot"

These are just a fraction of the coders at the AAST, and our country in general. With recent successes by our team, along with other Egyptian university teams, more and more students are getting interested in algorithms and coding competitions, so look for more members to appear on TopCoder soon.



Would you like to spotlight your school - or city, or country - in a TopCoder feature article? Email your suggestions to editorial@topcoder.com.