November 13, 2009

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By Sam Alcorn

LEWISBURG, Pa. — A team of Bucknell University computer science students competing in a regional "Battle of the Brains" competition finished with bragging rights.

Bucknell2, one of three Bucknell teams entered in the competition, placed third in the local category and 22nd in the regional standings in the intercollegiate competition held last weekend at Wilkes University in northeastern Pennsylvania. More than 160 teams competed at the Wilkes regional event.

Bucknell2 team members were Christina Garman, Tom Krisch and Bryan Ward, all Class of 2011.

34th annual competition
The competition was part of the 34th annual IBM-sponsored Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest. Last year, more than 7,100 teams from around the globe competed. This year, regional champions from 90 countries will go to the finals in China in February.

"The competition was tough," said team coach Lea Wittie, assistant professor of computer science. "Bucknell2 solved only one out of eight problems to earn that spot. Most teams didn't solve any problems at all. Third place locally is excellent and I hope our teams will play again next year."

Here's how the contest works: Each team of three students is challenged to use their programming skills and mental endurance to solve eight or more complex, real world problems under a five-hour deadline. Solving the problems is the equivalent to completing a semester's worth of computer programming in one afternoon. Competitors race against the clock as teammates collaborate on one computer to rank the difficulty of the problems, deduce the requirements, design test beds and build software systems that solve the problems.

Contact: Division of Communications