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CSUCI Computer Science team places in top 10 in prestigious regional contest
Posted: 12/13/17
Dec. 13, 2017 — A team from CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) Computer Science Program placed 10th among 105 teams from Southern California who competed in the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest held at the University of California, Irvine. “It’s the oldest and most prestigious programming competition,” explained Professor and Chair of the Computer Science Program Michael Soltys, Ph.D. “The California regionals are always very tough because we compete with universities like Cal Tech, Stanford and Berkeley.” This year, the CSUCI team beat the team from the California Institute of Technology. “Over the last three years, we’ve been doing better and better,” Soltys said. “We are climbing relentlessly. Three years ago we scored 17th. Then 15th last year, now 10th. Next year, first.” Soltys said he could not be more proud of his students. “We give the students a very solid education,” Soltys said. “They do a lot of coding right from the beginning. Our students are very much hands-on.” Another aspect of CSUCI’s Computer Science program that makes Soltys proud is the fact that the winning teams span socioeconomic strata. “We have talented people who are very wealthy and some from very modest means,” Soltys said. “Our students are not the same demographic as Stanford and other universities like it.” Assistant Professor of Computer Science Brian Thoms, Ph.D. was also involved in coaching the 15 contestants and accompanied them to the competition. On the day of the contest, the CSUCI contestants were divided into five teams of three. Then, each team was given 10 programming problems to solve and allowed five hours to solve as many as they could. Each of CSUCI’s teams was able to solve at least one of the difficult problems with the winning team solving five. Tens of thousands of students and faculty from almost 3,000 universities in more than 100 countries participate. It is the largest programming competition in the world. University of Southern California (USC) took this year’s top honors, which gives USC the chance to move onto the 42nd Annual World Finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest in Beijing, China.
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