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Stetson programmers place at ACM contest


ACM winning students are: (back row, left to right) Ryan Howard, Jacob Lites and Jure Jumalon, Bottom row, left to right: Joshua Letcher, Mark Burton and Robert Stanfield.

Two teams of Stetson students brought home 2nd and 3rd place medals from the regional Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) computer programming competition in November at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT). This is the highest placement Stetson has received since it began participating in 2005.

Ryan Howard, Jacob Lites and Jure Jumalon representing Stetson as Hatter1, won 2nd place and placed 13th in the southeast. Mark Burton, Robert Stanfield and Joshua Letcher represented Stetson as Hatter2. They placed 3rd and 18th regionally.

Each year the ACM sponsors the International Collegiate Programming Contest for college students. The contest, sponsored by IBM, began with regional team competitions which were held at FIT, Georgia Tech, and University of West Florida.

This year 48 teams from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina competed in hopes of winning a top spot and the chance to compete at the world contest finals.

A team consists of three students and one computer. After one hour of practice time, the contestants must write computer programs to solve a set of 10 problems in five hours. Teams aim to get the correct output on the judges’ test cases for as many problems as possible. The teams are ranked by the number of problems solved in the five-hour time span and by how long it takes to solve each problem.

About 80 teams representing 40 schools will meet in St. Petersburg, Russia to compete with the best collegiate programmers in the world at the ICPC world finals in July 2013.

“The nation’s technological infrastructure requires well-trained scientists and engineers, but studies show that the number of students selecting these fields is not keeping up with demand,” said Associate Professor of Computer Science, Hala ElAarag. “We are always looking for talented students who are willing to be engaged in their learning process and be part of innovating future technologies.”

In the past five years, three Stetson students were placed at Google. Harris and Lockheed Martin, and AMD also employs former Stetson students. Other graduates opened their own companies.

By Shelby Scraper, SUM intern