A team of three Northwestern College students placed first among the 17 teams at the Northwestern site during the regional Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest, also known as the Battle of the Brains, on Nov. 6.
The Northwestern team—Alayna Carlson, a senior mathematics major from Jewell, Iowa; Ansley Griess, a senior from Sutton, Neb., majoring in computer science; and Caleb Kester, a senior computer information systems major from Urbandale, Iowa—combined to solve three of the nine problems in the five-hour competition. Out of 225 teams competing at 17 sites in the North Central region, they placed 57th.
Another Northwestern team placed second at the local site and 58th in the region, also solving three problems. Members were Aaron Appel, a junior mathematics and computer science major from Altoona, Iowa; Joel Koster, a junior business administration and computer science major from Corona, Calif.; and Evan Lundell, a senior majoring in computer science from Cherokee, Iowa.
A third Northwestern team also solved three problems and finished fourth at the local site, 68th regionally. Members included Toben Archer, a sophomore computer science major from Manson, Iowa; Michael Gutsche, a sophomore from Minneapolis majoring in computer science; and Seth Herning, a sophomore computer science major from Pulaski, Wis.
Northwestern had a total of six teams in the competition, and each solved at least one problem.
About 22,000 students from approximately 90 countries are participating in this year’s Battle of the Brains. Huddled around a single computer, teams of three students collaborate to deduce the requirements, design test beds and build software systems that solve complex, real-life problems under the scrutiny of expert judges. The winning team is the one that solves the most problems in the fewest attempts within the least amount of time. One hundred teams will advance to the world finals, which will be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Feb. 27–March 4.