Students from Algoma University’s computer science program competed in the 19th annual Northern Michigan University (NMU) Programming Competition this past weekend. The Algoma squad, consisting of Andrew Douglas, Erik Fischer, and Jacob Poziak earned third place.
Each year, Algoma sends teams to both the NMU Programming Competition and the prestigious ACM Programming Contest. These competitions expose students to practical computer programming problems and working around tight deadlines.
Each team is given six questions to solve in five hours. With only one computer per team, students have to solve the problems at hand by using C, C++, C#, or Java languages, and only communicate amongst themselves. Teams are allowed to ask for technical assistance from a judge, but only the runner of the team can consult with the judge, which must be done through written notes. No face-to-face communication is allowed. Teams are evaluated and scored based upon the number of problems correctly solved and the time used to solve each problem. For each incorrect answer submitted, teams receive a 20-minute penalty. The team who solves the most problems in the least amount of time wins the competition.
75 students participated in this year’s competition, creating a total of 29 teams. Six colleges and universities competed, including Algoma U, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, NMU, The College of St. Scholastica, and Bay College.
Algoma’s team, named “Algoma Arrays Starts at 1”, finished in third by solving three of the six problems in the five-hour contest. This was the second time this squad competed at the NMU competition and also their last time they will compete together, as the threesome are scheduled to graduate at the 2018 June Convocation ceremony.
“It has been great competing at the NMU competition, as it has been with each competition,” said Algoma student, Jacob Poziak. “We are all really happy that we were able to attend, and with how well we placed. We hope that, in the future, other students from Algoma U will attend and represent our University.”
The top two teams were from Michigan Technological.