Computer science students showed a strong performance in the 29th annual Spring Programming Contest at Denison University on March 2.
The department sent eight teams who competed with 21 teams overall from four other Ohio schools, including Baldwin-Wallace University, Denison, Ohio Wesleyan University, and the University of Akron. Oberlin had three teams finish in the top five: Jakob Cornell '19, Anders Cornell '20, Julia Cornell '22, and David Hansen '19 placed second; Seraphina Gibson '20, Adina Johnson '19, Sage Vouse '19, and Jad Seligman '19 placed fourth; and Colton Potter '21, Minh Lam '20, David Gold '21, Khang Nguyen '21 placed fifth.
Assistant Professor of Computer Science Sam Taggart helped prepare the students and accompanied them to the four-hour competition. Students were asked to solve problems that tested their knowledge of both specific programming and general problem-solving skills. A new batch of problems is designed for each contest.
Taggart says this year's contest involved a lot of board games; the hardest problem required students to write a program to play the board game Iota optimally.
“Placing in the top five is great,” Taggart says. “This is also the largest group we’ve brought to a programming contest. Every team was able to solve at least one of the problems, even those for whom this was their first contest. This is something to be proud of as well.”
Oberlin competes in three computer science contests per year and has done so for many years.