News & Information

Worldwide Battle of the Computer Brains

11-10-2010


Front to back: Shawn Blakesley, Daniel Chally and Jason Landsborough

While many Sacramento State students are gearing up for mid-term exams and contemplating their Thanksgiving holiday, three teams of Hornet computer wizards are preparing to compete for the “World’s Smartest Trophy.”

Sac State’s squads, each consisting of three students, were selected during last month’s local programming contest organized by the Computer Science Department. They will compete in the regional portion of the 35th annual IBM-sponsored Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest.

The so-called Battle of the Brains begins Nov. 13 with a series of regional competitions expected to attract tens of thousands of university students from approximately 90 countries on six continents.

The worldwide contest is run within a software environment “PC^2 developed at Sacramento State under the guidance of Professor John Clevenger, who has been a driving force in the international competition, and several students who contributed to the system. It is currently maintained by a team consisting of Clevenger and three talented alumni, Samir Ashoo, Troy Boudreau and Doug Lane.

The Hornet squads will pit their respective computer-programming styles to earn a spot among the top 100 teams that will travel to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from Feb. 27 to March 4, 2011, for the World Finals of the IBM-Sponsored ACM-ICPC. The best and brightest information technology students will compete for awards, scholarships, job opportunities, prizes, and bragging rights to the “World’s Smartest Trophy.”

Sacramento State’s first stop is in the Stockton regional this Saturday where the Hornet squads will compete against teams from: University of the Pacific, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Chico State, San Jose State, Sonoma State, and Laney Community College.

The Hornet team members are Jason Landsborough, Shawn Blakesley, Daniel Challey, Matthew Steinwachs, Pavel Patrenko, Joey Youngblood, Sacheeln Sandhu, Derek Cuffe and Ted Pham.   

The teams will apply their programming skills and maintain their mental endurance to solve complex problems under a grueling five-hour deadline. Tackling these problems is equivalent to completing a semester’s worth of computer programming in one afternoon.  The team that solves the most problems correctly in the least amount of time will win a coveted spot on the World Finals roster.

For media assistance call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs Office (916) 278-6156.