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Students to Compete in IBM-sponsored ‘Battle of the Brains’

Oct 23, 2008
Ohio Northern University computer engineering and computer science students are preparing for the 33rd annual IBM-sponsored Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest. On Nov. 1, six ONU students will travel to the University of Cincinnati to participate in a global "Battle of the Brains."

Tens of thousands of students from 83 countries and six continents will compete in regional competitions around the world. The top 100 students will journey to the World Finals to be held April 18-22, 2009, in Stockholm, Sweden, where the best and brightest will compete for awards, scholarships, prizes and bragging rights to the "world's smartest trophy."

Northern will send two teams to the regional competition, known as the East Central North America Regional Programming Competition (ECNA RPC). The two teams are "Klondike - Black" and "Klondike - Orange." Competing for the Black team are Neal Shine, sophomore computer engineering major from Lima, Ohio; Brian Tomko, senior computer engineering major from Stow, Ohio; and Brett Wiechart, sophomore computer science major from Columbus Grove, Ohio. The Orange team includes Bob Milos, junior computer engineering major from Kettering, Ohio; Kyle Foley, junior computer engineering major from Elida, Ohio; and Victor Smith, sophomore computer engineering major from Florham Park, N.J.

Each team will be challenged to use their programming skills and rely on their mental endurance to solve complex, real-world problems under a grueling five-hour deadline. Tackling these problems is equivalent to completing a semester's worth of computer programming in one afternoon. The team that solves the most problems correctly in the least amount of time will win a coveted spot in Stockholm.

At the regional competition, Ohio Northern will compete against students from the University of Cincinnati, Ashland University, Ball State University, Butler University, Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University, Cedarville University, Miami University, Ohio State University, Ohio University, Ohio Wesleyan university, Purdue University, University of Dayton, Wright State University and Xavier University.

Both Ohio Northern teams are under the direction of Wei Kian Chen, assistant professor of computer science.