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International Collegiate Programming Contest will take place Oct. 25

A team of Lafayette students will be challenged to use their programming skills, creativity, and business sense as they compete in the regional round of the world’s most prestigious computer programming competition.

Sponsored by IBM, the 33rd annual Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest for the Mid-Atlantic region will take place Oct. 25 at Wilkes University.

During the “battle of the brains,” student teams are given a list of complex, real world problems and are required to write programs to solve as many problems as possible within a five hour time limit.

Lafayette’s team is comprised of computer science majors Miguel Haruki Yamaguchi ’11 (Akashi, Japan) and Ian McBride ’10 (Rye Brook, N.Y.) and electrical and computer engineering major Andrew Jameson ’09 (Hagerstown, Md.). The students have been working under the guidance of Xiaoyan Li, assistant professor of computer science.

“The ACM programming contest is quite interesting,” says Li. “Its problem sets test the students’ knowledge of a whole range of computer science topics from data structure selection to advanced algorithms design. It also demonstrates the applicability of computer science skills to a wide range of fields, such as math, physics, and biology.”

Other teams in the regional competition will be from Bucknell University, Susquehanna University, Lehigh University, University of Scranton, Villanova University, Saint Joseph’s University, Wilkes University, Moravian College, and Lycoming College.

Regional champions will move on to the contest’s world finals being held April 18-22, 2009 at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

“I believe competing in the contest will greatly inspire students’ interest in computer science,” says Li. “In addition, as the ACM advertises, ‘The contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure,’ which is critical both in learning at Lafayette and for their careers after Lafayette.”

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