Annual Competition Fosters Next Generation of Technology TalentChestertown, MD, October 8, 2003 — On Saturday, November 8, Washington College will host a Mid-Atlantic regional elimination round of the 2004 Association of Computing Machinery's International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC). The contest is being organized by the College's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science under the direction of professors Louise Amick and Austin Lobo.
Washington College will field three teams of students coached by Professors Michael McLendon and Foster McGeary. They will be pitted against nine other teams from the U.S. Naval Academy, Drexel University, Rowan University, and the University of Delaware. In the contest, each three-member team is given five hours and one computer to solve eight programming problems. The problems are so challenging that getting two correct is considered to be good. Scoring is based not only on correctness but also on the number of minutes taken to devise a solution. Many teams fail to get even a single problem correct. The entire contest is conducted electronically with submissions made to a central site for independent judging. The Mid-Atlantic region with 163 teams is the largest in the United States and third largest in the world.
This is the second year for Washington College to be a regional host site, to the credit of the College's state-of-the art computing facilities. Increasing enrollments in mathematics and computer science have allowed the expansion from two teams last year to three teams this year. “While both of our teams did very well last year, we are expecting even better results this time,” said Austin Lobo, associate professor of mathematics and computer science. “We have four seasoned veterans from last year's competition who are returning to represent us.”
The nine students representing Washington College this year are Jay Van Der Wall, senior from Wilmington, DE, and double-major in mathematics and computer science; Sunipa Saha, senior from Jos, Nigeria, and double-major in biology and computer science; Walker Dowling, senior from Chestertown, MD, and major in computer science; Hanh Nguyen, senior from Hanoi, Vietnam, and major in mathematics and computer science; Amanda Feigley, senior from Quakertown, PA, and major in mathematics; David Earle, junior from Annapolis, MD, and double-major in mathematics and computer science; Christopher Hayden, junior from Owings, MD, and double-major in physics and mathematics; Stephen Reaves, sophomore from Washington, DC; and Reid Cohn, sophomore from Chesapeake City, MD.
Now in its 28th year, the ACM-ICPC competition is partly sponsored by the IBM Corporation. Over the next three months, 1,300 universities from 68 countries will compete in regional contests held around the globe. Of these, 72 teams will be selected to compete at the 2004 World Finals, to be held from March 28-April 1, 2004, in Prague, The Czech Republic.