Three teams of ACU students put their computer programming skills to the test at the 36th annual Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest on Saturday.
The event, hosted at LeTourneau University in Longview, gave students five hours and eight problems to work through. The team that completed the most problems in the shortest amount of time advanced to the World Finals in Warsaw, Poland.
ACU Team Purple, including seniors Nigel Bosch, Jacob Ackerman and Amanda Greenlee, did the best of the three teams and ranked 17th.
ACU Team White, including sophomore Blake McAnally and juniors Joe Quigley and Jacob Skelton, ranked 42nd.
ACU Team Clear, including freshman Landon Gray, Ryan Clements and Ben Roberts, ranked 29th.
In order to differentiate the teams’ skill levels, the problems were designed to make it extremely difficult to finish all eight.
The regional winning team only completed four of the eight problems that were given Saturday, said Dr. Dwayne Towell, assistant professor of computer science,.
“Compared with last year, this year was a very hard problem set,” Towell said. “Our senior team did well, but, as it was the first year to compete for two members, we didn’t do as well as we hoped. I am proud of how our teams represented ACU.”
Blake McAnally, sophomore computer science major form Abilene, was one of the members of the ACU Team White.
“Compared to last year, on a scale of 1-10 we were between a six and eight. We put in good effort, but we could have done better,” McAnally said.
Graeme Williams, sophomore digital entertainment technology major from Dallas, has always watched the programming competition from afar.
“The programming competition seems to be both fun and helpful for the participants,” Williams said. “The people who want to do it are the people who have fun with it. In order to do it, you have to practice a lot.”