Ashland University Students Compete in Computer Programming Competition
Oct. 25, 2011/Ashland, Ohio -- Nine Ashland University students sharpened their programming skills as they competed in the world’s most prestigious computer programming competition at Youngstown State University and one Ashland University team finished in the top 10.
The 36th annual IBM-sponsored Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest brought together the best and brightest computer programmers for an all-out “battle of the brains.” Teams of three university students used their programming skills and relied on their mental endurance to solve complex, real world problems under a grueling five-hour deadline.
Ashland University had three separate teams competing against 43 other teams at the Youngstown site and a total of 122 teams competed at other locations across the country, including Cincinnati, Grand Valley and Windsor.
The three Ashland teams – team au purple, team au gold and team norxorandor – were each given nine problems and the purple team consisting of Jim Huang of Wooster, Ohio; John Bentley of Ashland, Ohio; and Matthew Smithburger of Smock, Pa., solved two of their problems putting them in ninth place out of the 46 teams and in 40th place out of the 122 teams in the entire competition.
The gold team of Allen Kowal of Wooster, Ohio; Anna Payne of Avon, Ohio; and Kees Edwards of Dennison, Ohio, solved one of the problems, which placed them in 80th place out of the 122 teams in the entire competition.
Members of team norxorandor team included Kenny Bogner of Mansfield, Ohio; Mathew Shy of Litchfield, Ohio; and Marissa Uhrig of Marietta, Ohio.
Dr. Iyad Ajwa, professor of computer science at Ashland University, served as the Regional Contest Director for the ACM-ICPC East Central North America Regional Programming Contest. He said the teams that came out on top in the four locations were University of Waterloo, University of Toronto, Carnegie-Mellon University and University of Michigan.
Ashland University’s teams were coached by Dr. Paul Cao, assistant professor of computer science; and Dr. Boris Kerkez, associate professor of computer science.
“Ashland University did a very good job this year compared with what we did in the last couple of years,” Cao said. “All contestants agreed that our class for advanced programming helped them a lot for the competition and their programming skills in general.”
Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2012, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.