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October 17, 2008

ULM students to compete in computer programming competition Oct. 17-18

University of Louisiana Monroe students will compete in a prestigious computer programming competition, the 33rd annual IBM-sponsored Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest, Oct. 17-18, on the Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge.

ULM students and computer science majors Dustin Oliveaux, a junior from Rayville; Travis Williamson, a senior from West Monroe; and Steven Walker, a senior from West Monroe, will participate in this regional competition, a decisive round of problem solving. They are led by their coach Dr. Lon Smith, associate professor of computer science and CIS at ULM.

Teams of three students will be challenged to use their programming skills and rely on their mental endurance to solve complex, real world problems under a demanding five-hour deadline. Tackling these problems is reportedly 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 sought-after spot on the World Finals roster. One hundred regional champions will meet when the contest culminates April 18-22, 2009, in Stockholm, Sweden. The best and brightest information technology students from around the globe will compete for awards, scholarships, prizes and bragging rights to the “world’s smartest trophy.”

Integrated approaches to business and technology at the university level are essential, owing to the rapid pace of change in today’s information technology industry. Through this collaboration between business and academia, the contest exposes the brightest college and university IT students around the globe to so-called open source technologies being adopted by innovative businesses and organizations.

In an increasingly competitive global economy, the IT leaders of tomorrow will be pursuing innovations which will come from a fusion of several different disciplines at the intersection of business and technology. These innovations might include designing an instant translation device that would enable people of different languages to overcome language barriers, helping commuters get to work faster through burgeoning mass transit systems or protecting consumers from theft.

More about the contest:
The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest traces its roots to a competition held at Texas A&M in 1970. The idea quickly gained popularity within the United States and Canada as an innovative initiative to challenge the top students in the emerging field of computer science.

It evolved into a multi-tier competition. Operating under the auspices of ACM and headquartered at Baylor University since 1989, the contest has expanded into a global network of universities hosting regional competitions that advance teams to the ACM-ICPC World Finals.

Since IBM became the contest sponsor in 1997, the contest has increased by a factor of eight. Participation has grown to involve several tens of thousands of the finest students and faculty in computing disciplines at 1,821 universities from 83 countries on six continents.

The contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure.

For more information about the contest, visit:

To obtain regional competition results or obtain the latest updates, visit:

To follow the contest podcast series, visit:

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