BYU-Hawaii Claims Programming Title

A team of three BYU-Hawaii students put their heads together Nov. 2 and won the annual Hawaii ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.

Hosting 14 three-person teams on the North Shore campus, this year was a breakthrough for the college, thanks to seniors Peniette Seru from Fiji, Thomas Lowry from the Cook Islands and Meilan Jin from China.

The five-hour competition challenged students from Hawaii Pacific University, UH-Hilo and BYUH to solve a packet of 13 story problems typically dealing with math, geometry or graph theory. They are ranked by how many problems they solve, and the Seru-Lowery-Jin team solved five of them.

“We really worked well together as a team,” said Jin. “I had a lot of fun during this year’s competition.”

But it was more than fun to their teacher, assistant professor of computer and information sciences Geoffrey Draper. He’s already looking ahead to next year. The team placed 24th out of 117 teams in the Pacific Northwest region. If they make No. 1 next year, Draper said, they go to the world finals in Russia.

He pointed out that computer powers Stanford and UC Berkeley are among the region’s top teams. “For BYU-Hawaii to rank 24th out of 117 teams – many of which included graduate students – is a wonderful achievement,” he declared.