Westminster College Students Participated in Programming Contest

Monday, December 10, 2012

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Two teams of Westminster College students participated in the 2012 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) East Central North America Programming Contest Nov. 2-3 at Youngstown State University.

The teams were under the direction of Dr. John Bonomo, Westminster associate professor of computer science. Bonomo contributed several problems and served as head judge.

Team 1 included:

Jenna Huston, a junior computer science and mathematics major, is a daughter of Robert  and Robin Huston of Beaver Falls and a graduate of Blackhawk High School.

Daniel Solomon, a senior computer science major, is a son of Daniel and Denise Solomon of New Wilmington and a graduate of Mercer Area High School.

Ryen Wilkins, a senior computer science major, is a son of Barbara Natale and Victor Wilkins of New Castle and a graduate of Mohawk Area High School.

Team 2 members were:

Nicholas Hainsey, a sophomore computer science major, is a son of Allen and Bonnie Hainsey of New Paris and a graduate of Chesnut Ridge High School.

Mark Patton, a freshman computer science and mathematics major, is a son of Thomas and Karen Patton of Edinburg and a graduate of Mohawk Area High School.

Contestants were given a set of nine programming problems and five hours to solve as many as possible.  Points were awarded based on the number of problems solved correctly, as well as the speed with which solutions were obtained. Westminster Team 2 solved two problems to finish 49th out of 131 teams competing this year. Westminster Team 1 solved one problem and finished in 76th place.

"Our students did well this year. Besides the enjoyment of competition, the contest benefits the students by exposing them to the process of being given a real-world problem and having to come up with an accurate and efficient solution," Bonomo said. "This is in essence what they will be doing with their CS degree once they leave Westminster."

Youngstown State was one of four sites where the IBM-sponsored contest was held.  Other locations were: Grand Valley State University (Michigan), the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Windsor (Ontario).  The contest drew students from colleges and universities throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, eastern Ontario, and Indiana. 

The contest provides college students with opportunities to interact with students from other universities, and to sharpen and demonstrate their problem-solving, programming, and teamwork skills.

Contact Bonomo at (724) 946-7287 or email for more information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

Click image to enlarge.

Row 1 (l-r): Mark Patton, Jenna Huston, and Daniel Solomon Row 2 (l-r): Dr. John Bonomo, Ryen Wilkins, and Nick Hainsey