Luther computer science students fare well in programming competition

Nov. 3, 2009

Luther College students competed in the world’s most prestigious computer programming competition, the 34th annual Association for Computing Machinery’s International Collegiate Programming Contest Oct. 31.

Seniors Brett Hazen, Aaron Shatzer and Maria Werner competed as the DaBraKe team, and seniors Andrew Baumann, Megan Hallberg and sophomore Adam Voss competed as the Norse Coders. Senior Doug Broman traveled as a reserve team member.

The seven Luther students and their advisor, Kent Lee, Luther associate professor of computer science, traveled to Macalester College to compete against teams from Macalester, Carleton College, St. John’s University and St. Olaf College in a regional competition.

Though the two Luther teams competed directly against these four schools, the event was a distributed contest, meaning they competed for a score high enough to place them in the top three of more than 200 teams from around the Midwest.

Luther’s DaBraKe team took top honors at the Macalester site, solving four of the 10 problems. They placed 23rd out of the 204 teams that were registered for the regional competition.

This year’s regional competitions are drew tens of thousands of students from colleges and universities in approximately 90 countries on six continents for an all-out “battle of the brains.” 

Teams of three students were challenged to use their programming skills and rely on their mental endurance to solve complex, real world problems under a grueling five-hour deadline. Tackling these problems is equivalent to completing a semester’s worth of computer programming in one afternoon.

One hundred regional champions will meet when the contest culminates Feb. 1-6 in Harbin, China, where the best and brightest information technology students from around the globe will compete for awards, scholarships, prizes and bragging rights to the “world’s smartest trophy.”

ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges.

This is the 10th consecutive year Luther has competed in the annual programming contest. In 2001, a Luther team advanced to the world finals held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Photo caption: Pictured are Luther senior Maria Werner, senior Brett Hazen, Aaron Shatzer, senior Drew Baumann, senior Megan Hallberg and sophomore Adam Voss.


Luther computer programming team