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Citadel News Service
18 Nov 2011

Student programmers place in regional competition

Officer Candidate Gordon Finlay along with Cadets Michael LaVoie, Ian Sanchez and Wei-Fang Liu brought home fourth place in the 2011 Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges Programming competition.

A team of The Citadel’s top student programmers placed fourth in the 2011 Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges Programming competition held at Furman University last weekend.  Twenty-four colleges and universities participated in the regional event.

Officer Candidate Gordon Finlay of Virginia Beach, Va.; Cadet Ian Sanchez of Goose Creek; Cadet Michael LaVoie of Fort Worth, Texas; and Cadet Wei-Fang Liu of Taiwan were hand-picked by faculty for strong skills demonstrated in science and mathematics. 

School of Science and Mathematics Professor Shankar M. Banik, Ph.D., began training the students last spring and has coached them weekly since the beginning of the fall semester.  He was assisted by Professor Michael Verdicchio and Professor Mei Chen Ph.D.

“The team we put together,” said Banik of the two juniors and two seniors participating, “are skilled programmers who have demonstrated a remarkable aptitude for problem solving.”

The competition challenged teams to solve up to eight computer programming problems within three hours. 

“Because of the time restriction, not only did the students have to solve problems correctly, they had to solve them fast,” said Banik. 

The Citadel team solved six of the programming problems.  One problem challenged students to produce a computer program that could read the number of times a smiley face emoticon occurred in a single line of text.  A second problem tasked students with creating a word-counting program much like the code used in Microsoft Word. 

The Citadel has competed in the consortium for five years.  This is the second time the college has placed among the top 10.


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Media Contact:
Jennifer Wallace
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