Rowan University Announces Winners in South Jersey High School Programming Contest

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Rowan University?s Computer Science Department hosted the 15th Annual South Jersey High School Programming Contest late last month. The contest, which challenges high school students to solve a probl

Rowan University?s Computer Science Department hosted the 15th Annual South Jersey High School Programming Contest late last month. The contest, which challenges high school students to solve a problem using different kinds of computer programs, was open to those students who had previously won at the county level in preliminary rounds.

Adam Caughron and Conrad Roth, both from Washington Township High School, captured first prize. Each took home a palm hand-held computer and a $500 scholarship to Rowan. Other winners included John Gannon and Derek Haas of Delsea Regional High School, Kenneth Dickinson and Samuel Nelson of Overbrook High School, Dan Lovelace and James Rosado of Pitman High School and Greg Ford, Ezra Kwak, Josh Levinson and Ben Rozyn of Cherry Hill High School East.

This year?s challenge required students to program a computer to automatically validate topological orderings, a problem that is both deceptively simple and intricately layered. While the students worked, their teachers and coaches were given detailed descriptions of several different strategies to solve the problem, complete with example programs written in C++, Perl,Basic and Ada95 by some of the university?s Computer Science professors.

Faculty members in the Computer Science department believe the contest challenges students while teaching them that there often is more than one solution to a problem. The director of this year?s contest, Darren Provine, observed that <+>the importance of a programming contest is not only that it challenges the students, but that it gives an opportunity to analyze the problem-solving process. Seeing solutions in more than one programming language gives the students an opportunity to understand different ways of thinking.<+>

Judges included faculty from Rowan?s recently accredited Computer Science department, as well as representatives from Camden County College, Gloucester County College and the University of Delaware. Corporate sponsors included Addison Wesley/Prentice Hall, Course Technology, Executive Business Products, the FreeBSD Mall, Lockheed Martin, Professional Computer Upgrade and SuSE Linux. Additional funding was provided by Rowan?s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

For more information about the contest, as well as this year?s problem specification, some of the solutions, and pictures of the event, visit http://www.rowan.edu/hspc.

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