Crunching The Numbers
Computer science students have been crunching the numbers for a decade, annually competing in the International Collegiate Programming Competition alongside the best universities of the world. The only college of its size to do so, WC has been a regional host site since 2002.
This year, teams from University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Rowan University joined WC at the regional site. Seniors Lawrence Baker, Mitch Witherow, Kyle Benk, and Gary Fenstamaker, along with juniors Chase Camera and Matt Lee, suited up on game day.
Students work in teams of three to solve very difficult computer programming problems. Sharing one computer, each team is given a list of seven problems and answers to a central site in Virginia. If the answer is incorrect, for any multitude of reasons, they are told “no,” and must figure out what is wrong on their own.
“I love problem-solving,” says Kyle Benk `13. “I wish we had more competitions like this. A team demonstrates great coordination and cooperation when they do well.”
On average, of the 180 teams that compete, nearly one-third of them do not solve a single problem in the five-hour time frame allotted. If three questions are solved, that team will be in the top third. The WC teams each answered one question correctly.
“I was not surprised by the results,” says Lawrence Baker `13. “The problems are extremely difficult and get exponentially more complex when you get further into the list of problems. We fared pretty well.”
—Aubrey Hastings ’13