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Student programmers place first at regional site, 11th overall

OC placed first among all Oklahoma universities in a computer-programming contest featuring the largest schools in the region.
OC placed first among all Oklahoma universities in a computer-programming contest featuring the largest schools in the region.

An undergraduate team from Oklahoma Christian University placed first among all Oklahoma universities in a computer-programming contest featuring the largest schools in the region. The OC team placed first at its site and 11th overall among universities competing in four locations. 

The South Central Regional of the Association for Computing Machinery Programming Contest involved 67 teams, with Abilene Christian University, Baylor University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Oklahoma in partnership with Southern Nazarene University serving as host sites.

Oklahoma Christian finished first in the Abilene contest and among all universities from Oklahoma. Across the region, OC’s teams placed second out of the 23 teams with undergraduate students only. Oklahoma Christian has placed in the top three in the undergraduate category as well as in the top three for Oklahoma universities overall in four of the past five years.

“It is remarkable that a school of our size can compete on an even basis with the largest universities in the region,” said David North, OC’s director of computer science advancement. “We’re very proud of our students and the way they represent OC.”

OC has a long tradition of excelling in this contest. No one involved with this competition is surprised when a team from Oklahoma Christian shows up near the top of the leaderboard.

“For years, our teams have placed high in the open classification as well as other specialized classifications,” North said. “Our goal next year will be to win the South Central Regional and move on to the World Finals.”

The region’s top 10 teams, which all included graduate students, came from the University of Texas in Austin, the University of Texas in Dallas, Baylor University, Rice University and LeTourneau University.

OC’s top team was comprised of junior Alexander Edwards from Lucas, Texas; junior Thomas Hartnett from McKinney, Texas; and senior Jonathan Hartnett from McKinney, Texas.

Each team of three programmers was given 11 problems to solve correctly in five hours by writing a computer program. OC’s team correctly solved seven of 11 problems and missed making the top 10 due to time.

-OC-