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Whitworth Students Rock at the Pacific Northwest Computer Programming Contest

Three teams of Whitworth students competed in the 2006 ACM Pacific Northwest Programming Contest held Nov. 11 at Western Washington University. The top Whitworth team comprising Stephen Ash '08, Brian Baumann '08, and Jacob Quatier, '07, solved six out of 11 Monty Python-themed programming problems to beat 44 teams out of a total of 65 teams. The other two Whitworth teams placed 28th and 34th.

Twenty-nine colleges and universities took part in the annual contest, which is sponsored by IBM. The schools whose teams placed ahead of Whitworth’s top team are (in ranked order): University of British Columbia; Stanford University; University of Washington; University of California, Berkeley; Hawaii Pacific University; California State University; San Jose State University; Simon Fraser University; University of California, Davis; and Trinity Western University.

The top Whitworth team placed ahead of schools including the University of Oregon; Northwestern Polytechnic University; California Statue University, Chico; and Eastern Washington University. To view the complete contest rankings, visit www.acmcontest-pacnw.org/Standings/2006/results.htm.

"Whitworth's teams competed at the level we want them to compete" says Peter Tucker, Ph.D., associate professor of math and computer science. "While we have a strong computer-science program, we also value the breadth a liberal-arts education at Whitworth provides our students."

Recent Whitworth graduates of the computer-science program have been awarded selective fellowships to top graduate schools. Caleb Hug, who graduated in 2004 with a degree in computer science and applied physics, won a 2003 Goldwater Scholarship for outstanding undergraduate students in math, physics and computer science, and recently completed his master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Our program has expanded, and we've received support from the administration and from outside grant agencies to do research in which our students are heavily involved," says Kent Jones, Ph.D., associate professor of math and computer science. "Stephen Ash, a participant on our winning team, has been involved in undergraduate research and has had additional experience that helped his team solve real-world problems."

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college, which has an enrollment of 2,500 students, offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

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