Computer science students compete

Jasmin Mitchell, Staff Writer

Six FMU computer science students traveled to Salem, Va., for a competition with other colleges in the 22nd annual Southeastern Small College Programming Contest.

The contest is in conjunction with the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges: Southeastern Conference at Roanoke College, and the FMU REAL Program Grant gave money to help support students nancially so they could attend the competition. Students from 30 colleges attended the contest.

Every year, computer science students are separated into two teams representing their college, and the winners receive a certificate. Students are not allowed to bring electronics on the trip. Instead, they are only allowed to bring things such as books. Only computer science majors attend this event. Students from both teams rank programming problems from the easiest to the most difficult to know the skill that each student possesses for certain problems.

The six FMU students were split into teams. Three seniors: James Haselden, Trey Watford and Corey Greene were on Team A, and three juniors: Dylan Leon, Aaron Stafford and Chris Bracey were on Team B.

Computer science professor Padmaja Rao accompanied the students on their trip to Roanoke.

“Students gained excellent problem solving skills when entering in this contest,” Rao said. “They also became faster thinkers and better problem solvers.”

Leon said that he enjoyed the competition and is excited to compete again.

“The trip was a wild ride,” Leon said. “The Roanoke area is beautiful, and Roanoke College was very accommodating. Three members of our team were first-timers but performed much better than we anticipated. We look forward to next year and competing to win. We’re looking for more computer science and math majors to bring with us. We are allowed one more person on our team, and we’ll need a new junior team to take with us as well.”

According to Leon, FMU teams begin practice in October, and the event is in early November.

FMU’s Team A ranked fourth, and Team B ranked 18th in the nal standings. Roanoke’s Team A ranked first, Bob Jones University’s Team A came in second, and Georgia College and State’s Team A came in third.