University of Rochester

Computer-Science Students Win National Programming Competition

March 15, 2006

Seven undergraduate computer science students at the University of Rochester won first place in the international Computer Science Games (CSG) competition, which was held at Ecole de Technologie Superieure, in Montreal, Canada, last week. CSG challenges undergraduate programming students from North America, individually and by team, in programming, algorithms, logic, and even video games.

"One of our best finishes was in the category of 'Xtreme Programming' where two people work at one computer," says Mitsu Ogihara, chair of the Department of Computer Science. "The collaboration of two students plays on the strengths of both people, resulting in a solution faster than either working alone. Our program has a very strong emphasis on engaging students in real research where collaboration as well as individual research plays a major role in our courses."

Senior David Sloan and junior Dan Mullowney worked on the Xtreme Programming task together, finishing in the top spot.

The University is also known for its theoretical strengths, and the two of students in the "Algorithms" category also did very well. Students had to finish as many algorithmic problems, with pencil and paper, as possible in three hours. Senior David Lu and David Sloan finished all the problems presented in just two hours.

Other categories of competition included designing an artificial intelligence program to outwit those of other teams, computer-related trivia games, writing code in assembly "machine language," Web design, debugging, and even a volleyball game because, as the organizers say, "even a 'geek' needs oxygen if he wants to survive."

Senior William deBeaumont and juniors Mike Rotondo, Tom O'Neill, and Harry Glaser rounded out the winning team.