November 10, 2010

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Four Bucknell University teams battled head-to-head in the regional "Battle of the Brains" computer programming contest this past weekend.

Of the four Bucknell teams traveling to Wilkes University in Scranton, Pa., the Bucknell team called "Team" finished best - second among 25 local teams and 17th among 157 teams from the mid-Atlantic region.

Only the first place regional team advances to the world finals in Egypt. Lea Wittie, assistant professor of computer science and adviser to the Bucknell teams, said Bucknell teams' showing was impressive, nonetheless.

'Quite an accomplishment'
"Our region includes Virginia Tech and Duke University, which historically include graduate students on their teams," said Wittie. "Each of the three other Bucknell teams solved at least one problem. As one-third of the local teams and 45 of the regional teams solved no problems, this is quite an accomplishment."

Wittie said "Team" Bucknell, consisting of Daniel Cavallaro, Tommy Krisch and Bryan Ward, all Class of '11, solved three problems correctly, and Bucknell will receive a plaque that will be placed in Dana Engineering's front hallway. Wittie said the Bucknell teams plan to sharpen their skills and compete again next year.

The winner of the mid-Atlantic regional was Duke University with five correctly solved problems.

Programming and problem solving
The Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC) is considered the most prestigious computer programming competition of its kind. It challenges teams of three students to use their programming skills and rely on their mental endurance to solve complex, real-world problems under a grueling five-hour deadline. The contest is akin to completing a semester's worth of computer programming and problem solving in one afternoon.

"Today, software and information technologies are about reinventing the way the world works," said Alan Ganek, chief technology officer at IBM Software Group. IBM sponsors the competition. "The ACM-ICPC trains the next generation of engineers how to apply technology to real-world scenarios, all in an effort to make our planet a better place, while at the same time delivering exciting solutions to relevant and pressing global issues,"

One hundred teams from nearly 90 countries on six continents will earn coveted spots at the contest's World Finals on March 3 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Contact: Division of Communication