Lander computer team holds own at Roanoke – Top 10 finish holds bigger promise for future.
In a few short years, a group of Lander students will likely be keeping your computer system in running order, up to date, and safe from hackers.
On Nov. 3, nine students in the Computer Information Systems (CIS) program showed their mettle at a computer science competition at Roanoke College in Roanoke, Va.
Out of 21 teams, Lander placed 13th and 6th – their highest placing so far at Roanoke, and their second straight year with a top 10 finish. Among the public universities, they finished in first and second places.
“It’s quite an accomplishment for the CIS program and our students,” said Dr. David Slimmer, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. “I think it really shows their ability, especially since many of the other teams came from larger schools with deep pockets for competitions like this.”
A total of 12 schools from Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina competed in the Roanoke competition.
The contest consisted of nine problems designed to challenge the competitors’ problem-solving and programming abilities. The goal of each team was to submit coded solutions to as many problems as possible within three hours. Teams were ranked by number of correct solutions with penalty points serving as tiebreakers.
“We were very close to a double top-10 finish,” said Lander team captain Lee Phillips, a senior CIS major. “We’re looking forward to a similar competition at Mercer University in the spring.”
While the team’s showing was a high point for all the Lander students, team leader and advisor Dr. Gilliean Lee said he was most impressed by their preparation for the contest.
“They met regularly the entire semester, once or twice each week, to practice in a simulated environment like the contest,” Dr. Lee said. “All of them wanted to perform up to their potential, feeling that they could do better by learning from mistakes they’ve made before.”
Junior Christina Joy Meakim, the team’s only female, said she is already anticipating a higher showing at Roanoke in 2019.
“I’ve been on the CIS team for two years,” said Meakim, who is majoring in Computer Information Systems. “And Roanoke always gives us a great opportunity to face off against other skilled programming teams, and to see how strong we are in our cohesion and communication skills.”