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Drury Students Excel at International Collegiate Programming Contest

Eight Drury Computer Science students competed in the International Collegiate Programming Contest sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery on November 5th. The contest, which asks computer science students to solve ten complex problems as quickly as possible, took place at Missouri State University. 

Teams included students from the University of Arkansas, Missouri S & T, SBU, MSU, and UMKC.  Other teams from Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee competed at 7 additional sites spread through the Mid-Central Region.  The team of Amelia Merritt, Kylie Pfaff, and Andrew Snyder finished 4th of 21 teams competing at the MSU site and 44 of 152 teams competing in the Mid-Central Region.  This is the highest finish for a Drury team in this contest.  Other computer science students competing in the contest were Aidan Derossett, Paul Hale, Cory Harris, Zach Green and Josh Harrold.   

The competition is known among computer science students for demanding their hardest work. Team member Aidan Derossett explained, “The competition wasn't just challenging, it was absolutely physically and mentally demanding! The questions that we were posed required complete comprehension, concentration, and detailed analysis. But in that same sense, every question was immensely rewarding, regardless of whether or not we had completely solved them. It was a truly humbling experience.” The only resource available to students to solve these problems is a single computer and no internet access.

This competition also prepares students for careers in the field of computer science. Many interviews will require a timed test to solve a programming problem in order to get the job. Amelia Merritt, another team member, says, “I'm really glad I went to as many of these competitions as I did, because I feel much more prepared for the kind of off-the-cuff problem solving under pressure that I'll have to do in technical interviews.”

The students on the programming team look forward to another year of participating in the International Collegiate Programming Contest and gaining more experience for their future careers.


Story by Payton Stringer, Digital Content Specialist