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Programming team earns top regional finish

A trio of Dordt College students successfully competed in the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) Programming Contest held last fall at Northwestern College.

Kyle Fey from Edgerton, Minnesota, Josh Van Schouwen from Sioux Center, and Bryan Burgers from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, had the best performance among the teams competing at Northwestern, which represented Briar Cliff University, Dordt College, Morningside College, Northwestern College, and the University of South Dakota.

Among the 187 teams derived from the entire North Central Region, Dordt College’s top team finished 50th. A second Dordt team consisting of Timothy Vis from Smithers, British Columbia, Jake Van Houten from Canby, Oregon, and Ryan Temple from Fulton, Illinois, placed 78th in the regional competition. The ACM North Central Region includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Western Ontario, Manitoba, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.

World-wide, 72 teams will advance to the World Finals.

The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) began in 1970 and is an innovative initiative that helps top students in the field of computer science develop their skills. Participation has grown to involve more than 23,000 of the finest students and faculty in computing disciplines at over 1,329 universities from 68 countries on six continents. The contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure.

The contest pits teams of three university students against eight or more complex, real-world problems, with a five-hour deadline. Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy, and mental endurance. Teammates collaborate to rank the difficulty of the problems, deduce the requirements, design test beds, and build software systems that solve the problems under the scrutiny of expert judges. The team that solves the most problems in the fewest attempts in the least cumulative time is declared the winner.