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Six members of the student branch of Association of Computing Machinery will attend the annual ACM Mid-Atlantic Programming Contest at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., Saturday, Nov. 16.

Lafayette will spar with approximately 150 teams hailing from 50 institutions. Given a five-hour time limit, each team battles the clock to solve seven or eight programming problems. Five problems solved correctly typically guarantee a finish among the top ten.

Co-advised by Penny Anderson, assistant professor of computer science, and Jonathan Berry, associate professor of computer science, the students have been preparing for the competition since August.

“We work on programming fundamentals and the use of standard methods for implementing algorithms,” says Berry. “There is a web site at the University of Valladolid in Spain that contains a treasure trove of hundreds of problems that can be submitted and judged electronically.”

“This is my first year as adviser at Lafayette, and the programming contest is one of my favorite ways to interact with students outside of class,” he adds.

This year, Lafayette’s ACM organization is sending two teams to Maryland. The first consists of Farhan Ahmed, a sophomore computer science and electrical & computer engineering major from Utter Pradesh, India; Alexandru Balan, a senior computer science and math major from Bucharest, Romania; and Mayank Lahiri, a sophomore computer science major from Blue Bell, Pa.

Key team two players include Kojo Adams, a junior computer science major from Accra, Ghana, and first-year students Joseph Crobak of Mechanicsburg, Pa., and Peter Zsoldos of Budapest, Hungary, who are planning to major in computer science.

The two teams will engage in an intra-club competition as the final warm-up before the Mid-Atlantic contest, which will pit Lafayette against some of the top teams in the world, including Duke and Virginia Tech. “Teams from these schools have been practicing for the contest five or more hours per week for several years, so they are very sharp,” Berry says. Our students match theirs in talent, and I hope to convince Lafayette students to make a similar commitment so that we can challenge the most prestigious institutions in the region.”

Categorized in: Academic News