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Tech Computer Science Department Hosts Programming Competition Series

On Saturday, April 11, the WVU Tech Department of Computer Science and Information Systems hosted the first of two on-campus programming competitions designed to put college and high school students’ programming and logic skills to the test.

Saturday’s competition was opened to WVU Tech students and challenged competitors to solve a series of ten programming problems in four hours.

“The competition is an opportunity for students to test their programming and problem-solving skills on a variety of problems that aren’t normally taught in the classroom,” said Dr. Matthew Williamson, the competition’s organizer and professor in the WVU Tech Department of Computer Science and Information Systems.

“The competition also tests how well they work as a team since they need to manage their time and resources. Because they are given a small number of hours and only one computer to work with, communication and delegation skills are critical,” he said.

WVU Tech student Jackson Fox, a dual Computer Science and Mathematics major, said that the event was an opportunity to exercise his classroom learning in an interesting way.

“It lets us prove to ourselves that we can have fun using these skills. It’s not all about work. It’s about learning these skills that we can have fun with and that we can take with us into the future. We learn the basics in class but this really helps bring it all together,” he said.

WVU Tech students Joshua Massey and Benjamin Culkin took third place ($125 each), Jackson Fox placed second ($250) and Jake Arthur and Joshua Keiffer finished in first place ($500 each).

Benjamin Culkin, Chedli Ben Hassine, Jackson Fox, Jake Arthur, Jared Miller, Jesús Ballesteros, Joshua Keiffer, Joshua Massey and Lucas Darnell participated in the competition, which Dr. Willamson hopes will become an annual event.

High School Programming Competition – April 25, 2015

The second competition in the series is open to high school teams and will take place on Saturday, April 25 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the engineering building. The April 25 event will see students competing for cash and scholarship prizes.

“The demand for programmers is at an all-time high, and that demand will continue to rise in the next five to ten years. If we can expose high school students to the field of computer science and get them interested, we can meet this demand, especially in West Virginia,” said Dr. Williamson. “Our state would substantially benefit from having more programmers.”

Five teams from three high schools – including a school in North Carolina – are already registered to compete, although Dr. Williamson said the competition is still accepting teams.

Attending high school faculty will also be able to attend a C# programming workshop during the competition.

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