Computer Science Students Win Award at Programming Competition

progcompA group of four Computer Science students, who, judging by the picture, are also planning to release a new album soon, took home the Fifth Place Award in the annual ACCA Programming Competition on Saturday, February 22, 2014, at Olivet Nazarene University.

The students

  • Ryan Jessen of Frankfort
  • Christopher Pelech of Joliet
  • Eric Raber of Oswego
  • Corey Wageman of Plainfield

competed in the Advanced Division against nine other teams. They completed five challenging programming problems out of a possible eight in three hours to take home the plaque.

The team also won an award for best team name, #hashtagSWAG. Recursive hashtags are what #rockstars are made of.

ACCA is the Associated Colleges of the Chicagoland Area. It is a consortium of fifteen private colleges and universities near Chicago that have similar educational missions. ACCA consists of multiple divisions that correspond to individual disciplines. The ACCA Computer Science division holds a number of functions throughout the year, including a Fall Seminar Series, Spring Faculty Development Seminar, and the ACCA Programming Competition. The ACCA Programming Competition is held annually in February. Teams from several of the ACCA schools work on solving problems that are more like mathematical puzzles than in-depth, multi-function programming projects. These puzzles test students’ ability to devise algorithms to manipulate data and perform calculations in specific ways. Knowing how to design effective algorithms is the most important tool in a Computer Scientist’s repertoire, regardless of whether they become a software engineer, networking guru, or cyber security specialist. Training for the competition and then participating provide a great experience for the students, because they get an opportunity to hone these extremely important skills as part of a team.

We are very proud that Lewis teams regularly place in the top five. This year’s four students are among the best and brightest students at Lewis, and we are so lucky to have them in the department. Just as important, they are a lot of fun to have around, as they bring a lot of personality to the department. A fun-loving bunch who are always willing to help others, they definitely buck the stereotype of the keep-to-yourself nerd. In that respect, they are the perfect representatives of the Computer Science program at Lewis, because that stereotype bears very little resemblance to reality in our classrooms and labs.

Once again, Dr. Cindy Howard coached the team and escorted them to the competition. She is constantly involved in extra activities like this, and her dedication to helping students get the most out of their time at Lewis is inspiring.

Congratulations to Ryan, Chris, Eric, Corey, and Dr. Howard on their excellent achievement at the 2014 ACCA Programming Competition.



About Ray Klump

Associate Dean, College of Aviation, Science, and Technology at Lewis University Director, Master of Science in Information Security Lewis University,, You can find him on Google+.

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