By Scott Bureau
In a test of mental endurance, the world’s brightest computing students battled for a spot in the finals of the world’s oldest and largest programming contest.
Rochester Institute of Technology’s computer science team placed seventh in the regional-level of the Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest held Nov. 16 at RIT. Massachusetts Institute of Technology won the 2013 Northeast North America Regional Contest, solving a total of six problems in a cumulative time of 484 minutes.
“In the contest, each team of three students huddles around a single computer in a race against the clock to solve a set of eight complex, real-world problems,” says Paul Tymann, a professor in RIT’s computer science department and contest director for the Northeast North America region. “The teams had to rank the difficulty of the problems, deduce the requirements, design test beds and build software systems that solve the problems.”
RIT’s team, which completed four problems in a cumulative time of 735 minutes, consists of computer science students Andrew Hollenbach, fifth-year from Quakertown, Pa.; Dan Johnson, fifth-year from Springfield, Va.; and Lane Lawley, fourth-year from Henrietta, N.Y. Computer science professor Ivona Bezakova is the team’s coach.
The IBM-sponsored contest was held for the eleventh consecutive year in RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Teams from RIT and 11 other universities competed in the regionals, including Acadia University, Harvard, McGill University, MIT, University of Moncton, Skidmore College, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of New Brunswick Fredericton, University of Rochester and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
This worldwide competition, established nearly 40 years ago, gathers more than 30,000 contestants from 91 countries during its preliminary rounds through December. One hundred and twenty teams will be selected to compete at the world finals, to be held June 22–26 in Ekaterinburg, Russia.