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By Jessica S. McDunn, University Relations

HPU students recently took top honors in the November Hawai‘i Site Championship of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Pacific Region Programming Contest. The team of three computer science undergraduates placed 10th overall out of 69 teams in the regional competition, solving eight problems, compared to the overall winner, the University of British Columbia team, which solved nine problems.

According to Dr. Curt Powley, assistant professor of computer science at HPU and team faculty advisor and coach, the event was a great way for computer science students to elevate their educational experience and develop real-world skills by competing against their peers from other universities.

Students gain several things from events like this, said Powley. “They become better programmers, increase knowledge of theories required to solve problems, learn teamwork and leadership skills, and gain confidence.

“ Our close ranking with the top students from some of the best computer science schools in the United States and Canada—such as Stanford, Berkeley, University of Washington, and University of British Columbia—has increased the visibility and recognition of HPU’s computer science program,” Powley added.

The Pacific Region comprises colleges and universities in Alaska, British Columbia, California, Hawai‘i, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington. Because of the large geographic area of the region, this year’s contest was held simultaneously at multiple sites in Canada, Washington, California, and Hawai‘i.

Student teams from each site simultaneously competed during a five-hour period to solve programming problems using software programming languages C, C++, or Java. Teams were ranked according to the most problems solved, with ties broken by time and by the number of incorrect problem submissions. HPU took first and fifth place honors for Hawai‘i. The winners from the other three sites were Stanford University, University of Washington, and University of British Columbia.

More than 10,000 students from more than 60 countries on six continents compete in the event.




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