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Students Showcase Computer Programming Skills in Regional ‘Battle of the Brains’
November 14, 2011
A team of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology computer science
and software engineering students earned respect among its
collegiate peers, placing a strong fifth out of approximately 140
teams in this year's Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM)
Mid-Central USA Region Programming Contest earlier this month in
Springfield, Ill. The showing was a considerable improvement
over the 14th-place finish for Rose-Hulman's top team last
Programming Problem Solvers: Members of Rose-Hulman
Institute of Technology's Programming Teams celebrate their
accomplishments in the Association for Computing Machinery's
Mid-Central USA Region Programming Contest with visiting faculty
mentor Alex Lo, a former team member.
This prestigious competition is considered the national
championships for collegiate computer programmers -- recognized as
"The Battle of the Brains." This year's problems involved
implementing algorithms and strategies to develop solutions.
Three-member teams used their math and computer science knowledge
to match programming problems with algorithms, and then applied
those algorithms to solve the problems.
Rose-Hulman's team that featured Tim Ekl, Kenny Gao and Seth
Troisi led the regional competition after the first three problem
sets, and went on to complete six of the eight problems. Only
the winning team from the University of Illinois was able to
complete seven of the eight problems. The top two teams from
each regional advanced to the national competition.
"These competitors are talented problem solvers with acute
mental agility and strength of concentration," said Shawn Bohner,
professor and director of software engineering at
Rose-Hulman. "Rose-Hulman students performed very well, and
demonstrated that they have what it takes to compete with any and
all schools in the engineering and science community."
Another Rose-Hulman team, consisting of Arjun Comar, Richard
Thai and Eric Vernon, placed 28th in the regional contest.
Meanwhile, an all-freshmen team of Bill D'Attilo, Kyle Dooley and
AJ Piergiovanni placed 99th.
"All of our teams were pleased with their results and have
already started thinking about how to prepare for next year.
They plan to build even strong teams for next year," said
Alex Lo, visiting professor of computer science and software
engineering and former Rose-Hulman Programming Team member,
joined Bohner in serving as the teams' coaches and competition