Computer Science Students Nab Another Win at Competition

Computer Science Students Nab Another Win at Competition

College of Charleston computer science students recently took first place among teams competing locally and fourth place overall among teams competing regionally in a computing competition hosted at the College.

Since 2015, the College has been a host site for the Association of Computing Machinery’s (ACM) annual International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) in the Southeast region. Other host sites in the Southeast this year included Florida International University, Kennesaw State University and the University of West Florida.

Students from CofC’s competitive programming teams (from left to right): Megan Landau, Alex Swanson, Nicholas Johnson, Griffin Hiers, Sonia Kopel, Blaine Billings, Joseph Ayers, Bryce Charydczak and Zachary Kidd.

A total of 18 teams, including nine CofC computing students on three teams (pictured above), took part in the competition held on Nov. 11, 2017. The College’s computer science department emerged as site winners (for the third consecutive year) and placed fourth overall out of 73 teams in Division II – making it the highest placing university in South Carolina. The College placed first overall in 2015 out of 62 teams and fifth overall in 2016 out of 71 teams.

The top placing College of Charleston team was “sudon’t,” a name derived from the UNIX/Linux system command sudo (a contraction of “super user” and “do”), which is used to grant privileges to users in a shared computing environment.

The event is organized locally by Jim Bowring and Tony Leclerc, both associate professors of computer science at CofC, and Marilee Henry, program coordinator in the department.

“The teams are given eleven problems and have five hours to solve as many as they can,” explains Sebastian van Delden, chair and professor of computer science at the College. “The problems are very challenging and involve an application of complex algorithms and data structures to solve.”

All College of Charleston teams solved at least one problem, while seven teams in Division II of the Southeast region did not solve any problems at all, noted van Delden, who also coached the winning “sudon’t” team.

Featured Image: The College of Charleston’s competitive programming team, named sudon’t, finished fourth overall in a recent computing competition. Pictured from left to right are Griffin Hiers, Sonia Kopel, and Blaine Billings.