Computer Science students succeed at CCSC

by Scotty Smith on November 8, 2015

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Roanoke College Computer Science students sweep the top prizes at the 29th CCSC conference!

The 29th annual Consortium for Computing Sciences in College (CCSC) South-eastern regional conference was held at Roanoke College this year. Over 100 educators and students converged on the campus on November 6th and 7th, to discuss how computer science education has changed and needs to evolve. Roanoke College students achieved an unprecedented level of success at this years conference.

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Students attend the conference to take part in two different competitions: the student research competition, and the student programming competition. Roanoke College had two computer science students in the research competition, and two teams in the programming competition.

The student research competition took place on Friday afternoon, beginning with poster presentations for the 12 students accepted to the competition. These 12 projects were ranked by the quality of the research and quality of the poster presentation. The top five students were invited to give an oral presentation of their research to a room full of fellow students and faculty from various institutions from the south-eastern region. These presentations were rated by the judges, and aggregated with all of the scores up to that point.

Two Roanoke College Computer Science students participated in the research competition this year: Derek LaFever (’17) and Natalie Wilkinson (’16). Derek was presenting the work he did over the past two Summers with Dr. Durell Bouchard on “Measuring Attention and Fatigue in Exergames,” while Natalie presented her 2015 Summer Scholars research she did with Mr. Scotty Smith on “Optical Music Recognition using Hidden Markov Models.” Both student performed well enough to be invited to give oral presentations of their research. In the final standings, Derek LaFever took 2nd place while Natalie Wilkinson took 1st place! Congratulations to both students for their amazing performances!

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Roanoke College’s two teams at the programming competition were excited to continue their exceptional performance they have achieved over the past few years. Teams consist of up to 4 students, and 1 computer between all of them. All 30 teams at the competition were given 8 problems to solve in three hours.

We had enough students this year to field two separate teams, with our first team consisting of Thomas Lux (’16), Randall Pittman (’16), and Natalie Wilkinson (’16), and our second team consisting of Christian Moore (’17) and Elvis Choi (International).

Our second team was able to solve an astounding 5 problems, which was good enough to beat several “A” teams en-route to an 11th place outing. Which is an incredible achievement for a team of 2 in their first competition ever.

Our first team was able to officially solve 7 of the 8 provided problems. No other team solved more than 6 problems, which means that Roanoke College took 1st place in the student programming competition as well! This is the first victory for Roanoke College since 1999, and is the first plaque award since 2009!

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Congratulations to all participants!

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