Cameron University team claims top honors in computer scripting competition

A team of Cameron University students took top honors in one portion of the 2012 South Central USA Regional Programming Contest of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). Marius Lipka, Hamburg, Germany; James O’Doherty, Lawton; and Nitesh Verma, Birgunj, Narayani, Nepal - the “Gold Coders” - took top honors in the scripting portion of the competition among universities that offer only undergraduate programs in computer science.  They faced competition from 21 other teams in that category. Competition was also held with 36 teams from universities offering graduate programs. The Gold Coders placed third in scripting overall.

Lipka and Verma are majoring in computer science, and O’Doherty is majoring in physics. All are seniors.

The ACM ICPC, sponsored by the Association of Computer Machinery and IBM, is the oldest and largest collegiate programming contest in the world, with more than 30,000 participants from over 2,200 universities in 85 countries. The contest pits teams of three university students against eight or more complex, real-world problems, with a grueling five-hour deadline. Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance. 

Teammates collaborate to rank the difficulty of the problems, deduce the requirements, design test beds, and build software systems that solve the problems under the intense scrutiny of expert judges. For a well-versed computer science student, some of the problems require precision only.  Others require a knowledge and understanding of advanced algorithms.  Each incorrect solution submitted is assessed a time penalty. The team that solves the most problems in the fewest attempts in the least cumulative time is declared the winner.


November 6, 2012