CSU, Chico News

Computer Science Students Compete in Programming ‘Battle’

Date: 11-16-2007

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

Three student teams of California State University, Chico computer programmers joined 73 other teams from 34 Western U.S. and Canadian universities last weekend for the regional competition of the Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest.

The annual “Battle of the Brains” competition, sponsored by IBM, involves 6,069 university teams from 82 countries. Student teams are faced with 11 computer programming problems to solve within five hours.

While Stanford and UC Berkeley teams finished on top at the Palo Alto regional, CSU, Chico posted its second highest finish since entering the competition in 2000, with the “Wildcats Team A” coming in 23rd. The Chico team was second among CSU campuses, following San Jose State.

“The Department of Computer Science is extremely proud of the performance of our three teams for this year,” said computer science professor Benjoe Juliano. He and fellow computer science professor Moaty Fayek were advisors to the teams.

Students have multiple challenges in tackling the difficult coding problems in the competition, Juliano said. For instance, student-devised programs may have to run within three seconds, or they may have restrictions on how much memory they use. CSU, Chico’s top team solved four problems correctly, while the first-place Stanford team solved 10 of the 11 problems.

Juliano said this was the first semester that CSU, Chico has offered a computer science class where students practice “competitive coding.” He said such classes are common at other schools that take part in the programming competition.