RAPID CITY, S.D. (June 18, 2013) - The Russians call them White Nights, spectacular, luminous summer eves when St. Petersburg is bathed in a pearlescent glow. But in the days leading up to July 3, that luminescence will emanate from an entirely different source as more than 100 university programming teams gear up for the Olympics of computer science. In this Battle of the Brains, one team will emerge victorious to claim "The World's Smartest Trophy."
And South Dakota School of Mines & Technology's student programming team will be among the elite. Slated to take-off Thursday, June 20, Colton Manville of Rapid City, Trevor Mahoney of Scottsbluff, Neb., and Dean Laganiere of Racine, Minn., will compete against 22 other United States teams and around 90 international teams vying for the 37th annual world title at St. Petersburg's Jubilee Arena Wednesday, July 3.
Sponsored by IBM, this year's contest will expose students to key emerging trends and capabilities, such as applying analytics technology to Big Data, a major economic growth engine and career opportunity worldwide
Viewers can watch the world championship competition live at http://www.ICpCLive.com.
It is the fifth time a School of Mines team has qualified for the World Finals of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), "an accomplishment that, as far as we can tell, no other school of our size, and few other schools of any size, can claim," says Toni Logar, Ph.D., who has coached the Mines team for 25 years. Other coaches are Roger Schrader and Larry Pyeatt, Ph.D. Ed Corwin, Ph.D., also of the School of Mines, served as Regional Chief Judge. ICPC organizers plan to honor Corwin and Logar for bringing five teams to the contest over their coaching careers.
In November, students competed in the ACM regional qualifier against 239 teams representing eight states and two Canadian provinces. SDSM&T's World Finals qualifying team was among five three-person Mines teams. All five teams from the university placed within the top third of the regional contest.
The contest fosters creativity, teamwork and innovation in building algorithms and programs to solve difficult problems, and it also enables students to test their ability to perform under pressure. It is the oldest, largest and most prestigious programming contest in the world, according to the ICPC fact sheet. In the regional contest, teams had five hours to solve nine problems.
Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls more than 2,400 students from 32 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for 2012 graduates was $62,696 with a 96 percent placement rate. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu.