News Releases 2009

LETU to Host Regional Computer Programming Contest Nov. 6-7

Thu, Nov 5 2009

LeTourneau University will host a remote site of the South Central regional 2009 ACM International Collegiate Programming Competition on Friday and Saturday, Nov 6-7, sponsored by IBM. 
The contest pits teams of three university students against eight or more complex, real-world problems, with a five-hour deadline. Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance. 
Registration begins in the Education Building room 117 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Students are allowed open practice from 4:30 to 10 p.m. in the Longview Hall computer lab. On Saturday, all teams meet from 8:15 to 8:45 a.m. to discuss contest rules. At noon the contest will start and run for five hours. The competition will be held simultaneously on the campuses of LETU, Texas A&M, LSU Baton Rouge, Abilene Christian University, and Eastern Oklahoma University.  The schools competing at the LETU site include LeTourneau University, The University of Texas at Dallas and The University of Texas at Tyler.
LETU will enter four teams of three into the competition. Competing for Team Hade will be senior Robert Whiting and juniors Brett Smith and Bion Oren. Team Kilte will be seniors Joseph Wallace and Kim White and junior Joshua Hillmann. Team Seleste will be seniors Silas Brill and Michael Roettger and sophomore Justin Pawula. Team Arba’ete will be seniors Dan Ferguson and Daniel Buck and freshmen Micah Shennum.
“The South Central USA Programming Competition offers outstanding programmers from across Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana the opportunity to participate in a competitive programming challenge to determine which two teams will represent the region in the IBM-sponsored 2010 World Programming Finals to be held at Hardin Engineering University in China,” said Dr. Brent Baas, LETU professor and computer science department chair.  “As teams prepare for the regional competition, they strengthen both their competence and confidence in their programming abilities.  The competition offers them the opportunity to showcase their skills to the world.”
Teammates collaborate to rank the difficulty of the problems, deduce the requirements, design test beds, and build software systems that solve the problems under the intense scrutiny of expert judges. For a well-versed computer science student, some of the problems require precision only. Others require a knowledge and understanding of advanced algorithms. Still others are simply too hard to solve—except, of course, for the world’s brightest problem-solvers.
This “Battle of the Brains” is the largest and most prestigious computing competition in the world, with more than tens of thousands of students from universities in approximately 90 countries on six continents participating. Since IBM began sponsoring the contest in 1997, participation has grown from 1,100 to more than 7,100 teams.
Tackling these problems is equivalent to completing a semester’s worth of computer programming in one afternoon.   The team that solves the most problems correctly in the least amount of time will win a coveted spot on the World Finals roster.
The World Finals will be held Feb 1-6, 2010 at Harbin Engineering University in Harbin, China. One hundred world finalist teams will compete for awards, prizes and bragging rights. These teams represent the best of the great universities on six continents—the cream of the crop.