Binary Bears November 2019

Binary Bears Capture First Place in ACM Southeast Division II Competition

Top Team Finishes Ahead of Competitors from Alabama, Auburn, UGA, Others

KENNESAW – Mercer University’s Binary Bears computer programming team brought home three first-place medals Saturday from the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest held on the campus of Kennesaw State University.

The five-hour competition, involving 86 teams from the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, was coordinated via the internet at four separate locations.

Mercer had four teams of three students each competing and placed first, fourth, sixth and 28th overall. The top team finished ahead of competition from Auburn University, the College of Charleston, the University of Alabama, the University of Georgia and Wofford College. Complete standings are available online.

Connor Day, a senior computer science major from Norcross; Michal Pacholczyk, a senior computer science major from Augusta; and Alex Powell, a senior computer science major from Fayetteville, solved seven problems to claim the top spot.

“After leading early with four problems in the first hour, the team traded leads back and forth with the College of Charleston until the start of the fourth hour when Mercer took the lead for good with a correct solution to a seventh difficult problem,” said Dr. Andy Digh, associate professor of computer science. “They kept their poise throughout and worked together effectively with one computer to solve all of their problems using the Python programming language.”

Mercer had two other teams in the top 10 who also solved seven problems.

Will Darragh, a senior computer science major from Greenwood, South Carolina; Tad McCorkle, a graduate student in business administration from Warner Robins; and Harrison Verhine, a senior industrial engineering major from Acworth, took fourth place overall.

Chris Holmes, a junior computer science major from Watkinsville; Isaiah Hoffman, a sophomore computer science major and mathematics double-major from Culloden; and Tim Hood, a senior computer engineering from Lawrenceville, finished in sixth place.

Will Bagliovio, a sophomore computer science major and mathematics double-major from Marietta; Will Holmes, a junior English major from Watkinsville; and Sean Hordines, a senior computer science major from Lawrenceville, solved four problems and finished in the top third of all teams.

The Binary Bears will present a special “Techie Talk” this Friday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m., in the Willet Science Center Auditorium. The talk, which will recap their season and highlight some of the interesting problems they have solved, is free and open to the public.

They will be back in action at the end of February when Mercer hosts a regional programming competition.