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
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.