Competition puts CSCI and Math Students Skills to the Test

Future programmers from UW-Superior brought their skills to the battlefield.

On April 20th, a very interesting contest that included computer science students from all levels was set up to prove the abilities of our future programmers. The clock started ticking at 12:00 p.m. in Swenson 3011, a familiar place for computer science students. The difference this time was that they were meeting in front of the computers to show off their skills instead of to learn.

A set of 7 questions were posted, and the machines started running. The programming language selected for the contest was Java, a general-purpose, language that has been designed to have as few dependencies as possible. It is intended to let application developers write once, and run anywhere. This means that code that runs on one platform does not need to be recompiled to run on another. Java is the preferred computer language used in computer science classes at UW- Superior. That is why the competition was divided in two categories, those who have taken CSCI 303 and those who have not. The teams were composed of one or two students, with the highest level of programming of either partner determining the programming category.

Every question submitted in the system counted for 1 point. The contender with the higher score was the winner. About 45 minutes in the competition, the first change in the scoreboard arose and set the bar higher for the other contesters. Three and a half hours later, the timer stopped, all the participants raised their heads to check the results in the big screen projection of the scoreboard. After all the submissions, the contest resumed with Kristian Vatsaas in second place and Michael LaValley as the undisputed winner.

2 points and only 3 minutes of penalty time made LaValley the winner of the first place, plus the recognition of his peers. All the participants received diplomas for their participation in the contest; the first two places received plaques for their work and prizes from the Math and -computer science club. At the end the participants had the opportunity to ask question and check some of the possible solutions for the problems. Once the stress of the competition dissipated, there was an opportunity for students and organization, to mingle and share pizza, soda and ideas for future contests. The math and computer science club is already thinking about the next semester competition, this time with a different set of questions and a new opportunity for students to test their knowledge out of the classroom.

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