Programming team adapts to Canadian competition

The Shippensburg University Programming Team recently returned from a competition in Montreal, Canada where they got a taste of a different culture and a great academic experience.

Nine students recently traveled to Concordia University in Montreal to take part in a radically different type of competition than the ones in which they normally participate. Used to team competitions, the nine students had to adapt to a new style of competition in which sub-sets of the team competed at different times of the day.

“A lot of the competitions our team has been to before are based on a one-day competition that is three to five hours with one team problem set,” said Dr. Alice Armstrong, computer science professor who accompanied the students to Canada. “This was a three-day event, and not a single problem set was done as a whole team. There were three parts of competition a day, and not all team members were involved in each part.”

Shippensburg, which finished 19 out of 29, still adapted well to the changes. “I was really, really proud of them. This is so different than what they were ever trained for and they had to adapt of the fly,” said Armstrong.

The students not only developed their academic and programming skills, they got to learn about a different culture, as well. The competition took place in a bilingual environment where French was the main language spoken.

“It was an amazing experience,” she said. “It was a high level of competition and an exciting way for the students to stay connected to classroom material. Outside of the competition, it was an incredible cultural experience. The students got out of central Pennsylvania, out of the country, and got to experience something so different than what they are used to.”

For more information about the programming team, visit http://www.cs.ship.edu/programming.html.