Thursday, April 4, 2013

Incredible Competition: World-Class Programming

From left: Daniel Rothfus, Terry Penner, Micah Shennum
Most people probably wouldn't consider programming a competitive sport, but for three LeTourneau students who were invited to the University of Chicago's 2013 Invitational Programming Contest over this past weekend, it is. This contest was open only to teams who already qualified for the 2013 ICPC world finals, which the LETU team qualified for last year when they took first place in the 2012 South Central USA Regional ICPC

Since the ICPC doesn't distinguish between universities with undergraduate and graduate programs, our team of only undergraduates faces the extra challenge of taking on teams which include graduate student members.

“LETU is the only undergraduate school in our region that has sent teams to the World Finals since 1993, when a team from Abilene Christian University was invited,” said Dr. Brent Baas, the team's faculty sponsor.

Even up against stiff competition from universities like Stanford, MIT, and Columbia, the LETU team still managed to earn themselves an honorable mention. They won't be resting anytime soon, though. The team is already planning for their next competition: the ICPC World Finals, which will be held from June 30 - July 4 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

These LETU students prove that competition happens in arenas outside of the basketball court or soccer field. When a group comes together with a common passion, a little creativity, crazy brilliant minds, hard work and tons of determination, they're bound to be a winning team.

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