Computer Science Students Compete in Programming Competition
On Saturday, February 26, six Concordia University, Nebraska students competed against schools across the Midwest region in the International Collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC). ICPC contests feature teams of three coders working together to solve difficult problems in an intense 5-hour competition. Teams attempt to solve as many problems as possible, as fast as possible. The team who solves the most problems wins, with time-to-completion breaking ties. Teams around the world compete in ICPC qualifying and regional contests, with the top teams advancing to world finals.
The North-Central North America (NCNA) Regional contest posed 13 problems to 96 teams across the Midwest. Concordia was represented by two teams, Nibble Nibblers and Runtime Terrors. Faith Brown, a junior from Concordia, Missouri, Ian Kollipara, a junior from Lincoln, Nebraska, and Neal Patron, a junior from Seward, Nebraska, teamed up as the Nibblers, while Andrew Brandt, a sophomore from Knob Noster, Missouri, Micah Willweber, a sophomore from Kailua, Hawaii, and Jacob Woodmancy, a junior from Grant, Nebraska, competed as the Terrors. Ian Kollipara, a member of the Nibblers, commented on the aspect of working as a team. “I thought our team dynamic was one of roles. I handled most of the coding, while Neal handled some of the more complex algorithm problems. Faith provided a great analysis of the problems, so we knew where to spend our time. I enjoyed hanging out with my team and learning from the comptetition at the same time.”
The Nibblers solved 5 problems, placing No. 21 out of 96, and the Terrors solved 4 problems, placing No. 34. Out of 8 GPAC teams competing, Concordia's teams placed No. 2 and 3. The full standings can be found at: https://ncna21.kattis.com/standings.
For the teams, it was a fulfilling experience. Andrew Brandt, a member of the Terrors, commented “Solving the problems competitively was a new experience for me and forced me to think of solutions in new ways that would satisfy the given problem. Overall, the competition was great, and I hope to participate in more of them in the future.”