Mercer Hosts Spring Programming Contest in Willet Science Center

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Mercer Programming Competition

MACON – Mercer’s Department of Computer Science hosted its spring programming contest this past Saturday welcoming institutions from across the Southeast for the first time to the newly renovated Willet Science Center.

A total of 30 teams, each composed of three students, participated in the five-hour competition involving 11 challenging problems. Dr. Bob Allen, professor and chair of computer science, served as director of the contest.

The competition was divided among larger institutions with graduate programs in computer science and smaller ones with only undergraduate programs. Divisions consisted of senior and junior levels of competition.

Mercer had three teams competing in the undergraduate-only senior-level division and one team in the undergraduate junior-level division, made up of students in their first year of computer science curriculum.

The Binary Bears team of Connor Day, junior computer science major from Norcross, Chris Holmes, junior computer science major from Watkinsville, and Michal Pacholczyk, junior computer science from Augusta, captured first place among undergraduate senior-level teams by solving five problems.

Overall, they ranked eighth among 30 teams across the entire competition, and just behind the top team from Clemson University. They finished ahead of teams from Georgia College, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the University of North Georgia.

Mercer’s team of Gabriel Bryant, sophomore computer science major from Marietta, Ronald Karamuca, freshman computer science major from Acworth, and Jacob Strader, freshman computer science major from McDonough, took third place among undergraduate junior-level teams. Bryant, Karamuca and Strader were each competing for the first time.

“It was so much fun to work together with my teammates to apply what I have been learning this past year,” said Strader. “I cannot wait to compete again with my teammates in the fall.”

Georgia Tech finished in first place overall by solving all 11 problems, followed by two teams from the University of Central Florida.

“Mercer’s spring programming contest is quite popular for many schools as a great way to prepare students for two important fall competitions hosted by the Association of Computing Machinery and the Consortium for Computing in Colleges,” said Dr. Andy Digh, associate professor of computer science and coach of the Binary Bears.

Binary Bears Spring 2020

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Kyle Sears