Bisons have byte

January 11th, 2013 · No Comments · Advisory, Computing, News Release, Peers, Students, computer science

For solving difficult computer programming problems at a regional contest in December, the University of Manitoba student team known as “Bisons With Byte” has been invited to the world finals in Russia in June 2013.

“This is the first time the University of Manitoba has succeeded in being invited to the world finals,” says Dr. Michael Domaratzki, associate head, computer science. “Only the top one per cent of all programming teams is invited each year and many universities never get the opportunity, even after years of competing. This is only the sixth year that we have been competing in the contest, so to make the finals now is indicative that our computer science program is as exceptional as our students.”

The University of Manitoba programming team is three third-year undergraduate students: Josh Jung, Aman Sachar and Alex Sachs. Jung is in computer science, while Sachar is in computer engineering and Sachs is in actuarial mathematics. The three had met in high school at River East Collegiate. Jung notes: “I thought it would be a fun thing to do, so I recruited my friends to join in.”

To get to the world finals, more than 300,000 students participate in local contests worldwide where institutions select teams for the next level of competition. Nearly 30,000 students from 91 countries participated in regional contests this past fall, with the University of Manitoba team competing in the North-Central North America region that includes Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario but also teams from across the American Midwest. Out of 239 teams, Manitoba placed in the top ten and snagged a wildcard spot for a berth in the world final.

Only 115 teams get an invitation to the World Finals, and only six Canadian university teams made the final cut: UBC, Calgary, Lethbridge, Manitoba, Waterloo and Toronto.

The sponsor of the contests, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), notes: “These teams represent the best of the great universities on six continents-the cream of the crop.”

The contest pits teams of three university students against eight or more complex, real-world problems with a grueling five-hour deadline.

The ACM adds: “Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance.”

Bisons With Byte will travel to the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), International Collegiate Programming Contest 2013 World Finals in St. Petersburg, Russia, in June 2013.

For more information, contact Dr. Michael Domaratzki at: 204-474-8625 or email: mdomarat@cs.umanitoba.ca

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