TTU computer science teams score high in ‘Battle of the Brains’

Tennessee Tech University hosted a portion of the 35th annual regional round of the "Battle of the Brains" and the university's four competing computer science teams performed solidly.

One of TTU's teams ranked second behind a first-place team from Middle Tennessee State University.

Sponsored by IBM, the competition challenges teams of three students each to solve complex and rigorous real-world problems by using open technology and advanced computing methods under a grueling five-hour deadline. During the challenge, the students complete an entire semester's worth of computer programming.

"The Battle of the Brains is the Olympics of the computer programming world," said Dr. Michael Karasick, vice president of strategy and technology at IBM Software Group. "The amount of talent that we have the opportunity to witness each year is truly impressive and a testament to the value of this competition."

The regional round first-place winner was the MTSU Blueraider #1 team, solving seven problems correctly in the least amount of time.

Placing second was TTU's Thrashing the Cache with six solved problems. Tennessee Tech had three other teams place: The Gutsmen (fourth), Battletoads (ninth) and Narcoleptic Sparkin' Penguins (12th).

"This year's groups of students were very enthusiastic at practice sessions," said Martha Kosa, associate professor of computer science and campus coordinator of the event. "They truly worked well together on their respective teams, both during practice and the real contest. I am very proud of them."

Other schools involved in the Nov. 6 competition were Belmont University with teams placing third and 10th, East Tennessee State University placing fifth, Vanderbilt University placing sixth, and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville placing 19th and 21st. To view regional and site standings, visit http://mcpc.cigas.net/.

Only 100 regional teams will advance to the World Finals on March 4, 2011, in Egypt to determine the overall winner.