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Computer science students program their way to success

Posted: Dec 09, 2013

Three students. Five hours. Numerous computer programming problems to solve. The tension of the 2013 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) international programming contest was extraordinarily high — and Olivet students placed in the top 15 percent.

“There is something about coding for five high-pressure hours with two other people that is irreplaceable,” Hannah Miller (senior, Marseille, France) says. “By the end, you can’t help but trust and appreciate your teammates’ abilities on some level.”

They competed side-by-side with students from other colleges and universities including University of Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt University.

Olivet’s team consisted of Hannah (Miller) Sanders (senior, Marseille, France); Joe Melsha (freshman, Cedar Rapids, Iowa); and Will Meitzler (junior, Elk Grove Village, Ill.). They competed by solving problems that included at least 25 percent higher math. The programming contest was sponsored by IBM and ACM.

“We haven’t done this well at ACM for about a decade,” Dr. Larry Vail, computer science professor, says. “I am extremely proud of them.”

As a part of the 25th anniversary celebration, the Department of Computer Science will be hosting a computer programming contest at Olivet on February 22, 2014.

Olivet alumni living in all 50 U.S. States and 57 world areas