Computer Science Succeeds at CCSC

by Scotty Smith on November 9, 2014

From left to right: Derek LaFever, Thomas Lux, Natalie Wilkinson, and Randall Pittman

From left to right: Derek LaFever, Thomas Lux, Natalie Wilkinson, and Randall Pittman

Each year the Computer Science department takes a trip to the Consortium of Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC) south eastern regional conference.  This year the conference was held in North Charleston South Carolina, at the College of Charleston’s north campus.  While the focus of the conference is Computer Science education, one of the more fun and rewarding activities at the conference are the student competitions.

Derek LaFever and Thomas Lux present their research.

Derek LaFever and Thomas Lux present their research.

The first competition is the student research competition, where students submitted extended abstracts of their research projects.  Eight of these students were chosen to present posters at the conference, and five of the eight students were chosen to give full research presentations for the final leg of the contest.  Of these five chosen students, the top three presentations were given awards at the closing banquet at the conference.  Three of our students, Derek LaFever, Thomas Lux, and Randall Pittman were invited to present posters at the competition.  In the final results, Randall placed third overall with his project while Thomas Lux took first place.  More information about all three projects can be found on the Computer Science Research page.

Thomas and Randall discussing one of the programming problems.

Thomas and Randall discussing one of the programming problems.

The other competition held every year at the conference is the programming competition.  Teams of up to four students are given three hours to solve as many of the eight problems they were provided.  The directors of the competition nicknamed this the “Year of the Calendar,” with three of the eight problems dealing with calendars and dates. This year’s team did very well, answering four of the eight problems given to them, and were very close to solving two additional
problems.  They were ultimately only two solutions behind the winners of the competition.  This performance was good enough to secure fourth place out of 31 teams, a respectable showing by our students.

The trip to this years competition was a bit long, a twelve hour round trip to North Charleston, SC.  Thankfully we will not have to worry about travel and lodging next year.  Roanoke College will host the 2015 CCSC south eastern regional conference.

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