Mines News

Release Date Friday, March 29, 2019

SD Mines Programming Team Places in Top 10 in International Programming Contest; Prepares for Worlds

The SD Mines Red Team includes (left to right) Michael Pfeifer, Luke Videckis and Alexander Iverson.  

RAPID CITY, SD (March 29, 2019) – A student team of computer programmers from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology finished in the top 10 at the international Mount Allison Programming Showdown 2019 this month, giving them momentum as they prepared to compete in the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) in Portugal, March 31 through April 5. To see how the team did in Portugal, click here

The “Red Team” is made up of Mines students Alexander Iverson of Fort Collins, Colo., Michael Pfeifer of Owatonna, Minn., and Luke Videckis of Elmhurst, Ill.

The Mount Allison Programming Showdown (MAPS) is an open, online, five-hour ICPC-style programing competition organized through Mount Allison University in Canada. Teams were given problem sets consisting of approximately 12 problems. Rules were similar to those at the ICPC, which makes the competition a good preparation for the world finals.   

"It felt good to beat University of Madison Wisconsin and to get a first solve," said Videckis regarding the strong showing at MAPS. While there is no point advantage for solving a problem first during the MAPS competition, it’s a good confidence booster for any team. During the World Finals competition, teams that solve particular problems first typically receive a small prize and bragging rights.

Pfeifer added, "This competition was a great boost for us. It had a lot of problems that pushed our abilities to the limits, and we learned a lot from them. We came out as a much stronger team, and we are ready to take on world finals!"

The Red Team qualified for ICPC in Portugal by winning first place in the regional ICPC in November 2018. Mines is a member of the North Central Region of the ICPC, which includes schools from South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, western Michigan, western Ontario and Manitoba.   

This marks the fourth year in a row and the ninth programming team in Mines history to qualify for the highest level of competitive collegiate computer programming in the world.

"Red team has been going above and beyond since September with their eyes on World Finals. Most weeks they do 2 or more 5-hour contests as well as individual practice. I'm looking forward to their performance in Porto," said coach Matt Schallenkamp.

The Mines Red Team has an advantage in the experience of Videckis and Iverson, who each return to the World Finals for a second time. Iverson also represented Mines in the 2017 competition and Videckis in the 2018 competition. 

The coaches for this team include Mines students Matthew Schallenkamp, a senior computer science major, and Andrew Stelter, a master’s student in computer science. Both competed at the 2018 world finals in Beijing, China. Faculty advisors are assistant professor Paul Hinker and lecturer Roger Schrader. In addition, associate professor Larry Pyeatt served as assistant judge for the regionals and will be a coach along with Schallenkamp and Stelter for the finals.

The programming team has been supported in the past by Microsoft and Raven Industries. 

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About SD Mines  

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 2,654 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $63,350. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Lynn Taylor Rick, 605.394.2554, Lynn.TaylorRick@sdsmt.edu

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