TTU is recent host to IBM-sponsored computer programming contest

Tennessee Tech University recently hosted a regional match of the 31st annual Association for Computing Machinery’s International Collegiate Programming Contest sponsored by IBM.

The oldest, largest and most prestigious computer programming contest in the world, it’s popularly known as the “Battle of the Brains.”

At the regional match on campus, two TTU teams were pitted against those from seven other area colleges and universities. Total participation in this year’s regional competitions was estimated to include more than 6,000 university teams from 84 countries and six continents.

“It’s vital that we promote and focus on the pursuit of excellence in the field of information technology,” said Douglas Heintzman, director of strategy for IBM’s Software Group and sponsorship executive of ICPC.

“IBM’s commitment to the ICPC is an important investment in the future, because innovation in our industry will come from the creativity of the next generation of engineers and computer scientists,” he continued.

Each competing institution was allowed to enter up to two teams, each consisting of three students, who had to work together around a single computer to solve up to eight or more complex, real-world programming problems within a five-hour deadline.

Teammates collaborated to rank the difficulty of the problems, deduce the requirements, design test beds and build software systems to solve the problems.

Tackling those tasks was equivalent to completing a semester’s worth of computer programming in one afternoon, contest officials said.

In addition to teams from TTU, other institutions that were represented at the regional programming contest hosted on campus included Austin Peay, State University, Belmont University, Maryville College, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Vanderbilt University and Western Kentucky University.

Eighty-five successful teams will advance to the contest’s World Finals March 12-16 in Tokyo, Japan.

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