Student programmers from first year to senior have hit the road this month to participate in formal, and not-so-formal, competitions.
Early this month, five first-year Gettysburg College students participated in Technica2019, the world’s largest all-women and non-binary hackathon. A hackathon is an immersive design event in which computer programmers collaborate intensively on software projects. The goal of a hackathon is to create usable software or hardware by the end of the event.
This event, held at the University of Maryland, was generously supported by the Office of Multicultural Engagement, with technical support and coaching from the Computer Science Department.
Over a 24-hour period, participants were immersed in tech culture and encouraged to exercise their imaginations to create interesting and innovative hacks to solve a particular challenge. With Professor Sunny Kim as their faculty mentor, our team from Gettysburg – Leah Attai, Karla Gonzalez, Arnetta Olden, Yosslay Cervantes, and Gissel Quechol-Raya – created FinBalance, a financial literacy education tool geared towards young adults who are starting to learn how to manage their money. Their site features tips, a calculator, and a game to deliver information. These students are programming at entry-level, and most of them intend to major in Computer Science so watch for great things from them.
The mission of Technica19: to encourage women and non-binary folks to keep creating and growing their skills, and to help catapult them further in their careers. Eventually, as they advance in their careers, the hope is that they would go beyond their duties at work, become mentors and help to advance the next generation of women and non-binary in tech.
Programming Contest! (Lemma Dilemmas?)
During the same weekend, Computer Science majors participated in the regional ICPC (International Collegiate Programming Contest) held at James Madison University. With Professors Ivaylo Ilinkin and Sunny Kim as co-coaches, Gettysburg fielded two teams:
The A Team: Hoang Just ’21, Matt Torrence ’21
The Pumping Llama Team: Distanta Ojha ’21, Hannah Seabert ’20, Chase Tiberi ’20
The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest is an activity of the Association for Computing Machinery that provides college students with an opportunity to demonstrate and sharpen their problem-solving and computing skills. The winning team from each Regional Contest advances to the World Finals.
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Contest lasts for five hours. Each team of three students tries to solve as many problems as possible, programming the solutions in C++, Java, or Python 3. The team that solves the most problems correctly wins, with ties broken by the least total time (the sum of the times consumed for each problem solved, from the beginning of the contest to the time the correct solution is submitted). The Computer Science Department sponsored the trip.
In mid-November, three Gettysburg students participated in a hackathon at York College. In this case, the hackathon was a 36 hour event. The students didn't need to know how to code or be supreme hackers, just how to be creative! They could ask for help from mentors and speakers.
All three of our hackathon competitors completed submissions:
Alex Viet Nguyen ’22: "mBot Crasher Arcade"
Alex’s submission won two prizes: “Best Gaming Hacks” ($200 keyboard and mouse) and 3rd prize in “Best Hacks of the Show” ($300 headphone).
Tom Doan ’23: "MazeRunner"
Jivan Kharel ’20: "ProfFriend"
The Student Senate and the Computer Science department co-sponsored this opportunity.