Alberta, Canada will be seeing red this weekend – Red No. 40, that is, a team of three University of Wisconsin-Madison computer science students who will compete in the International Collegiate Programming Competition World Finals from Sunday (April 6) through April 10.

The competition features 100 teams that scored at the top of their regional tournaments, which took place from September through December of 2007. The regionals included more than 6,000 teams from 83 countries vying to make it to the finals.

The competition features teams of three students working to solve lengthy word problems via algorithms, which consist of lists of specific instructions for solving a problem. Algorithm solutions must then be coded into computer science languages such as C++ and Java that allow the solution to be tested on computers. The use of algorithms and computer coding make the competition a magnet for major technological companies, such as Google and the competition’s sponsor, IBM, to recruit new employees.

This will be UW-Madison’s eighth straight year of having a team make it to the finals, a streak that has lasted as long as UW-Madison has been competing in the ICPC.

Red No. 40’s members consist of UW-Madison juniors Jason Malinowski and Chunsong Wang, and first-year graduate student David Malec. Dieter Van Melkebeek, a computer science professor who has been involved in UW-Madison’s participation in the competition since 2001, is the team’s coach.

For more information on UW-Madison in the competition, visit