RC programmers went down to Georgia

by Scotty Smith on February 25, 2015

Picture of Thomas Lux, Natalie Wilkinson, and Randall Pittman

Thomas Lux, Natalie Wilkinson, and Randall Pittman before the contest starts

They were looking for a trophy to steal,
They lost their minds on the eight hour drive,
But they were willing to brave the ordeal.

On February 21st, Mercer University hosted their Spring Programming competition.  While the competition was originally started to give the Mercer University students a chance to practice their programming skills during the Spring semester, it has grown to a competition that hosts over 30 teams from states all around the Southeastern United States.

Randall Pittman Debugging his code.

Randall Pittman debugging his code.

Thomas Lux, Randall Pittman, and Natalie Wilkinson (All Junior Computer Science majors from Roanoke College) travelled to Mercer this year to participate in the competition.  Teams were given 15 problems to solve over the course of 5 hours.  These problems ranged from very simple text processing, to complicated mathematical formula calculations and 2-dimensional logic puzzles.

Students working at computers.

The Roanoke College Programming team diligently working on the problem set.

There were two divisions this year: Small schools and Large schools.  Four teams in the Small School division answered 6 of the 15 problems, including the Roanoke team.  Ties in this case are broken using a penalty point system, which relegated the Roanoke College team to fourth place.  The team from Clemson University placed first in the Large School division, answering an outstanding 13 of the 15 problems presented.

While this was not the result that students had hoped for, the experience was still a worthwhile and enjoyable one.  The team hopes to continue honing their skills to perform even better at the next competition.

Roanoke College will host the next competition the programming teams will compete in. We will host the Consortium of Computer Science in Colleges, Southeastern region conference this coming November!

Students exhausted after their competition.  This was a joke.

Thomas Lux, Natalie Wilkinson, and Randall Pittman after the competition.

The programmers bowed their heads because they knew that they’d been beat.
And they piled back into the rental van parked outside on the street.
Mercer said, “’Y’all just come on back if you ever wanna try again.”
CCSC is our next chance to prove that we’re the best that’s ever been.