Students Roque Lacroix, Alex Trush and Bailey Kacsmar, with coach Ashraf Abdelbar, are the first team to represent Brandon University in the International Collegiate Programming Contest.
Three Brandon University students have become the first to represent the university in a global computer programming competition where winners are courted by companies including Microsoft, IBM and Google.
In November, Roque Lacroix, Alex Trush and Bailey Kacsmar took part in regional playdowns for the International Collegiate Programming Contest sponsored by IBM.
The trio matched online wits with nearly 200 teams from eight U.S. states, Manitoba and northwestern Ontario, solving mathematical problems designed to test programming skills and teamwork.
The team coach, Ashraf Abdelbar in BU’s department of math and computer science, praised his students for an excellent effort, solving two of the eight test problems. Teams from University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg solved one to three problems and only a couple of the U.S. teams solved all eight.
"This has been a fabulous learning experience," said Abdelbar, noting that his team of third-year students was competing almost entirely against fourth-year students.
"I am very happy," he said. "I didn’t expect them to be so competitive."
The BU students vowed to be back.
"My takeaways from the competition were better pre-planning and focusing of my thoughts," Trush said.
Kacsmar said she learned a lot about teamwork.
"We will definitely do better next time," she said, adding all three team members hope to compete again.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 5, 2013