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Florida Tech Team Earns Rights to World Finals Programming Competition

4:52 PM on January 19, 2010


MELBOURNE, FLA. - A Florida Institute of Technology team placed fourth overall in the 2009 Annual Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Regional Programming Contest, held recently. The team will represent the university in the World Finals in Harbin, China, Feb. 1-6, 2010.

Florida Tech is one of 19 U.S. teams invited to the finals; it is the fifth invitation for the university. Other U.S. universities headed to the world finals include Cornell University, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Duke University.

The international ACM holds an annual competition for college students, the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), sponsored by IBM. The goal is to improve the skills necessary to solve problems with computers. Teams of three students write computer programs to solve a set of problems in five hours. This year, more than 7,000 teams competed from 1,838 universities and 88 countries, at 259 sites around the world. The Southeast Region competition teams came from Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.

Florida Tech teams were selected in October after a local programming contest. On team three, which will go to China, are Erdal Tuleu, David King and Tim Mersch. King is from Melbourne, Fla.

Team one members were Lacey Osteen, Andrew Games and Christopher Groux; team two members were Michael Kelly, Greg Thorndike and Miles Wallio; and Ryan Stansifer, associate professor of computer sciences, was Florida Tech team coach and the regional contest director.

Florida Tech's team three successfully beat 80 other teams including those from the University of Florida, Georgia Tech, Clemson University, and the University of Miami, powerhouses in the southeast region of ICPC.

"For over a decade, Florida Tech teams have consistently placed in the top 10 of the region. This is a tribute to the ingenuity and hard work of the students at Florida Tech," said Stansifer.

Made possible by Harbin Engineering University, the World Finals will host 100 finalist teams from six continents who will compete for awards and prizes. Teams must solve eight or more complex, real-world problems in five hours.