Dordt College News

Dordt teams compete in programming contest

November 11, 2005

Programming Teams

Two computer programming teams from Dordt College participated in the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) International Collegiate Programming Contest Nov. 5 at University of South Dakota (Vermillion).

The “Gold” team of Bryan Burgers, Jon Hjelle and Mike Kuechenmeister finished second among the 16 teams at the Vermillion site and 34th among the 191 teams in the entire North Central North America region.

The “Black” team of Ryan Temple, Jake Van Houten, and Justin Vander Schaaf solved two of the nine problems, finishing in the top half at both the Vermillion site and the North Central region.

“We did very well, I was pleased,” said Dennis De Jong, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science at Dordt. “The problems are not easy: in fact 50 of the teams in the region solved no problems.”

From among the thousands of teams competing in regional contests world-wide, 72 teams will advance to the World Finals.

The ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) began in 1970 and is an innovative initiative to assist in the development of top students in the emerging field of computer science. Participation has grown to involve more than 23,000 of the finest students and faculty in computing disciplines at over 1,329 universities from 68 countries on six continents. The contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure.

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. 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 scrutiny of expert judges. The team that solves the most problems in the fewest attempts in the least cumulative time is declared the winner.

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