ATHENS, Ohio (April 29, 2005) -- A team of computer science students from Ohio University's Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology recently out-programmed more than 120 teams from universities across the region. The team competed in a regional qualifying competition for the Association for Computing Machinery's International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), held at the University of Cincinnati at the end of 2004.
With more than 80,000 members worldwide, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is an international society for professionals and students of information technology. The recent competition was held to select teams to go on to the international contest, in China, which is the largest and most respected contest of its kind.
Amy Scheithauer, president of Ohio University's student ACM chapter, explained that the contest challenges teams to write several computer programs in only a few hours.
"They're not programs like Microsoft Word," she said. "They're smaller programs that test their knowledge of algorithms."
Team member Slave Jovanovski said that unlike many of the teams from other schools, the Russ College team didn't have the luxury to spend months practicing for the ICPC. They became a team only a few weeks in advance, after the student chapter chose them based on their performance in a chapter programming contest.
"The programming problems were all from familiar theories and algorithms," he said. "Some schools have courses specifically designed for this kind of competition, but we only knew we were a team a few weeks before the contest."
But the three members - Jovanovski, Hiep Dinh and Chad Mourning - and their coach, Ryan Jones, managed to come in ninth out of 131 teams by accurately completing four of the eight programming problems at the contest in only five hours. That might sound like a long time for most people to spend wracking their brains over geometry, pattern matching and other mathematical problems, but Mourning said it was nothing unusual for his team. "We're used to doing it, actually - programming for long hours at a time," Mourning said.
Although the team did not win a place at the international competition in China, for Mourning, Jovanovski and Dinh, there is always next year.
The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, educates well-rounded professionals with both technical and team-project skills. The Russ College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across the traditional engineering spectrum and in technology disciplines such as aviation, computer science, and industrial technology. Research areas currently receiving significant funding include avionics, fuel cells, bioengineering, oil and gas pipeline corrosion, and environmental pipes and culverts. Named for alumnus Fritz Russ and his wife Dolores, the Russ College is home of the Russ Prize, one of the top three engineering prizes in the world. For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/engineering.
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Media Contact: Russ College Director of External Relations Colleen Girton, (740) 593-1488 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793