Students Place in Computer Programming Competition
Saturday, 01 March 2014
On February 22, Trinity sent two teams of tech savvy students to the 27th Annual Computer Programming Competition sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA). One of those teams, comprising Michael Lautermilch ’15 of Lockport, Illinois; Brian Haak ’14 of Zeeland, Michigan; Spencer Ten Haken ’15, and Lucas Vanderwal ’15, finished 2nd place in the competition. Team 2--Ben Pausma ’15 of Melvin, Iowa; and Asma Abdelqader ’14 of Chicago--finished in 7th place.
The event, hosted by Olivet Nazarene University, featured 20 different computer programming teams from eight different colleges. Using one computer and no faculty instruction, each team was required to program solutions to eight different problems in four hours. Judges confirmed correct/incorrect answers and provide feedback. Teams could answer numerous times but were penalized for wrong answers.
The second-place team programmed seven of the eight problems correctly, only one shy of Wheaton’s first-place team. They also answered the most difficult question before any of the other teams. Jeff Nyhoff, associate professor of computer science, said he was very pleased with the close finish.
The students were accompanied by both Nyhoff and Ron Hansum, retired Trinity computer service technician. The advisors helped students prepare for the challenge of competing in the “Advanced” division, the highest division in the competition. Last year, Trinity’s team took first place in the “Novice” division.
Interns at nearby Argonne National Laboratories, Haak, Vanderwal, Ten Haken, and Pausma all plan to participate in similar competitions next year.
“It speaks well of the Trinity students who participated that they could see the merit in participating in something like this,” said Nyhoff. “I also was impressed by the teamwork and camaraderie the students displayed, throughout the day.”