Nov. 30, 2000
Vol. 20 No. 6

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    Computing team to join 2001 world finals

    Steve Koppes
    News Office

    A University team has emerged from a field of thousands competing on six continents to qualify for the 2001 World Finals of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Programming Contest sponsored by IBM.

    Sixty teams will compete in the ACM World Finals from March 7 to 11, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

    “What makes this a unique enterprise is the combination of structurally interesting problems and the need for absolute exactness in solving them,” said team adviser Michael O’Donnell, Professor in Computer Science.

    To qualify for the World Finals, the Chicago team placed second among approximately 100 teams in the ACM’s Mid-Central Regional Programming Contest held Saturday, Nov. 4.

    The Chicago team consists of Andrew Huntwork, a fourth-year in computer science from Phoenix, Ariz.; Emil Ong, a fourth-year in computer science from Muskogee, Okla.; and Daniel Robbins, a graduate student in physics from Beaumont, Alberta, Canada.

    The teams had five hours to tackle six problems using C, C++, Pascal or Java programs.

    Students were judged according to how many problems they solved and how fast they solved them. The problems related to a variety of tasks, from image processing and text formatting, to solving puzzles and randomly generating computer passwords.

    Only the first-place team solved all six problems within the time limit in this year’s regional contest. The Chicago team solved five problems in less than three hours.

    “We were among five or six teams that solved five problems, and we were substantially ahead in terms of how quickly we solved the five,” O’Donnell said.