ATHENS, Ohio (July 3, 2006) -- Computer science majors at Ohio University's Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology might look like your average students, but don't let that fool you. They're ranked among the best student programmers in the world.
One of their recent competitions includes an online programming contest held by software company TopCoder, which ranks both individuals and schools. Ohio University currently ranks 34th worldwide.
TopCoder brings members together once a week to compete online in single-round matches and twice a year for both online and on-location tournaments. The competitions provide an understanding of a person's capabilities through a demonstration of skill.
Late last year, the student computer gurus also came in 8th place at the 2005 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) East Central North America Regional Programming Contest, where 65 colleges and universities competed.
ACM tested 13 teams from institutions throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, eastern Ontario, and Indiana. Ohio University students Chad Mourning, Slave Jovanovski and Hiep Dinh were presented with eight problems and asked to solve as many as possible within five hours.
Dinh was encouraged that the team outdid its 2005 standing of 9th place. "Our team did a wonderful job defeating most of the other U.S. teams in the region the last two years," Dinh said. "I have a strong feeling that this coming year, we'll be among the top three universities in the region and will advance to the final programming contest."
When competing in the contests, Dinh and his other teammates used knowledge from many of their courses, including C++ programming and data structure for writing the code; algorithm-related courses such as design and analysis of algorithms and artificial intelligence to derive appropriate algorithms to solve the given problems; and in-depth courses such as programming languages and operating systems for optimizing the code.
Dinh also noted that the team placed well without some of the benefits other teams enjoy. "In the future," he said, "if we could have formal training sessions like most of the teams from other universities, I'm pretty sure we will keep up the good work and always be named among the top 10."
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