“I’m very proud of our team,” said WSU faculty coach Carl Hauser. “It’s great that for three years in a row they’ve done the best in the Inland Northwest.”
The competition is put on by the National Association for Computing Machinery and is sponsored by IBM. At the contest, teams of three students were challenged to use their programming skills and rely on their mental endurance to solve complex, real world problems under a grueling five-hour deadline. Tackling these problems is equivalent to completing a semester’s worth of computer programming in one afternoon. The teams that solve the most problems in the least amount of time win.
To prepare for the contest, the teams met twice a week since the beginning of the semester, solving practice problems provided online from the competition providers and using their tools for solution submission and verification. Computer science graduate student Shariful Shaikot helped set up and organize practice problems and practice competitions. He also provided solution help and team strategies.
“The students that start participating in this competition are getting exposure to things that might not be covered in the classroom until later into their university coursework,” Hauser said. “There is nothing this grueling in their coursework.”