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Bowling Green Takes Top Honors at Carnegie Mellon Spring Programming Contest


PITTSBURGH—A three-member team from Bowling Green State University won Grand Champion honors at the 2008 Carnegie Mellon University Spring Programming Contest hosted by Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science with support from Google Inc.

Thirty-four two-and three-member teams from 17 colleges and universities participated March 29 in the fifth annual competition, which complements the computer programming competition sponsored each fall by the Association of Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest. Each team was presented with a set of 12 problems based on a Harry Potter theme. For each problem, the teams had to identify an appropriate problem-solving method, or algorithm, design a data set and produce a computer program to solve the problem.

The three-member Bowling Green team of Renren Dong, Woon Tang and Austin Winner, coached by Joseph Chao, completed more of the problems in less time than any of the other teams. Among other three-member teams, Clarion University placed second, the University of Toledo at Lorain County Community College placed third and Butler University placed fourth.

Among the two-member teams, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology placed first, followed by Grove City College, Olivet College and the University of Toledo at Lorain County Community College in second, third and fourth, respectively.

“It was an interesting set of schools from this neck of the woods,” said Gregory Kesden, associate teaching professor in Carnegie Mellon’s Computer Science Department and organizer of the annual contest. For the first time this year, Google paid the entry fee for all of the teams. “We are grateful for Google’s support because it enabled a number of schools, both small and large, to participate. And some of the smaller schools did as well or better than their larger competitors.”

Google’s Pittsburgh engineering office also sponsored its own Google Games puzzle contest on March 28 with teams composed of a mix of members drawn from the programming contest teams.

Eugene Fink, senior systems scientist in the Computer Science Department and the Language Technologies Institute (LTI), developed the problem set, along with undergraduate students Evan Danaher and Lawrence Tan and LTI graduate student Betty Cheng.


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