Wellesley Hosts Collegiate Programming Contest Oct. 23

For immediate release:
October 15, 2004

Arlie Corday,

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Computer science majors will vie for the chance to compete regionally and internationally at the Boston area preliminary round of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest at Wellesley College’s Science Center on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 10 am-4 pm.

The event promises a day of both intense competition and team-spirited fun. Among the teams expected to compete will be members of the student group Wellesley Association for Computing (WAC), which practices weekly for such competitions. Other competitors will include Brown University and Colby, Bryant, Providence and Stonehill colleges. A second Boston Area Preliminary event will be held at Fitchburg State College. About 16 colleges teams will compete at the two sites; the top four teams from these competitions will proceed to the Northeastern Regionals.

“The top teams from the regionals will go on to the international contest, which will be held in Shanghai this year,” said Wellesley computer science professor Franklyn Turbak.

Teams will arrive at Wellesley as early as 8 am to become acquainted with the contest rules and software. The contest begins at 10 am and lasts until 3pm. A final meeting in which results are announced takes place afterward, and the contest wraps up around 4 pm.

“Each team has between one and three members and is allowed to use exactly one computer as a team,” Turbak said. “They are given five to seven programming problems, each of which requires writing a program that solves a problem. Teams can write their programs in C, C++, or Java programming languages.”

Teams try to complete as many of the problems as possible in the allotted five hours. The problems are hard enough that most teams will solve none or perhaps one of the problems.

“But a few good teams will solve most of the problems, and there is often an excellent team or two than can solve them all,” Turbak said. An electronic scoreboard will allow competitors to see which teams have solved which problems. For more information on the contest, go to http://icpc.baylor.edu/icpc/ or call Turbak at 781-283-3049.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For more information, go to www.wellesley.edu.