Computer Programming Students Make Strong Showing in Contest

December 03, 2013

Knox Computer Programming Teams

by Veronica Gockenbach '14

Knox College computer programming teams engaged in fierce competition during the recent Association for Computing Machinery Intercollegiate Programming regional contest, finishing as the No.2 liberal arts college among the 15 liberal arts colleges that participated.

Knox competed in the Mid-Central USA Region against colleges and universities from Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas on November 2 at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS).

This year, 139 teams from 63 colleges and universities competed in the Mid-Central regional competition at nine sites, where teams worked to solve eight programming problems of varying difficulty in just five hours.

Over the years, interest has grown in the intense contest. Knox, for the first time, fielded four teams in the competition. Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and UIS each brought three teams, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign brought five. A total of 20 teams competed.

The Knox teams prepared for the event with weekly practices. Team coaches are Knox faculty members David Bunde, associate professor and chair of computer science; Jaime Spacco, assistant professor of computer science; and John Dooley, William and Marilyn Ingersoll Professor of Computer Science. Dooley also was head judge at the UIS site.

Here are results for the Knox teams at the regional contest:

  • Team X-Ray (Ben Lyon '15, Matt Lichty '15, and Nicholas Liberko '16) solved four problems and came in eighth at the UIS site and 32nd overall in the Mid-Central regional. Team X-Ray placed second among teams from 15 liberal arts colleges in the regional competition.
  • Team November (Lauren Harris '14, Anda Xu '15, and Zeyu (Joe) Miao '15, and reserve Izak McGieson ‘16) solved two problems and came in 14th at UIS.
  • Team Kilo (Matthew Klich '15, David Rincon-Cruz '16, and Eli Nelson ‘15) solved one of the eight problems.
  • Team Oscar (Nate Chadderdon '15, Matt Skinner '15, and Andrew Richter ‘17) solved one problem.

Knox College has a tradition of fielding strong teams in the contest. This year, the Knox squads beat teams from Illinois College, Berea College, Arkansas Tech, DePaul University, Illinois Wesleyan University, the University of Illinois at Springfield, one of the Washington University teams, and two teams from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The top two teams in the region were from Northwestern University and from the University of Chicago. Both teams will be going to the ACM Intercollegiate Programming Contest World Finals at the Ural Federal University in Ekaterinburg, Russia, in June 2014.

(Photo at top of page: Members of the four Knox College computer programming teams that competed at the Association for Computing Machinery Intercollegiate Programming contest in November, along with faculty coaches David Bunde, Jaime Spacco, and John Dooley.)