Mines News

Release Date Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SD Mines Tech Comm Class Writes for Worldwide Audience

Students in King Adkins’ Spring 2017 Technical Communications (Tech Comm) course are producing content for the ICPC World Finals.

RAPID CITY, SD (March 21, 2017) – Students in King Adkins’ Technical Communications (Tech Comm) course had a surprise this semester; they would be writing for a world-wide audience in advance of the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) World Finals. Adkins, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology humanities department. His class is partnering with ICPCNews and the IBM media group to provide content to world finals contestants, coaches, staff and spectators as well as the Black Hills community.

The ICPC World Finals are coming to Rapid City May 20-25, and excitement is building in advance of the actual event. Around the world, people are watching the ICPC website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube to learn as much as they can about this year’s contest. There will even be live television coverage of the event. IBM officials estimate that over a billion press impressions will be generated from the ICPC World Finals coverage. SD Mines students will be an integral part of creating that information machine.

Adkins has been a long-time advocate for service learning and for teaching the power of social media. This project gives him the chance to combine these two focus areas. “Students learn best when they can see the real-world application of their work, and working for a client like the ICPC really gets their attention,” says Adkins. He cites the importance of providing information and generating excitement about Rapid City around the world. Adkins also believes it’s important to bring the local community together to support this event. “Obviously, we want the rest of the world to know about Rapid City, but we also want those who live here to recognize the area’s ability to attract world class events,” he says.

Approximately 1500 contestants, coaches, staff, and spectators from 70 countries will arrive in Rapid City for the ICPC. They will all have had the opportunity to be better informed about the area through the efforts of Adkins’ students. The class is preparing materials about topics such as Mt. Rushmore, the Sanford Mine project, and the Pine Ridge Reservation. One student in the class, Travis Fincher, points out, “Doing this research has allowed me, a non-native of South Dakota, to discover things about the Black Hills I never knew.”

The top competitors at the ICPC World Finals represent the best collegiate programmers on the planet. Each fall, about 300,000 students across six continents compete for spots on 2,736 local university teams. The wining university teams progress through multi-level regional competitions with 133 teams of three advancing to the World Finals. SD Mines will have a team at the World Finals for the 7th time since 1998 – an accomplishment few schools, and no other school of comparable size, can claim. Kyle Riley, Ph.D., and chair of Mines’ math and computer science department says, “There are no ‘free’ spots at the world finals. The SD Mines team had to earn a spot just like everyone else. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.”


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 2,778 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate is 96 percent, with an average starting salary of $62,929. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on Facebook and Twitter.


Contact: Charles Michael Ray, 605-394-6082, charles.ray@sdsmt.edu