Public Relations

Daily Pioneer News

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

UWP hosts Association for Computing Machinery competition

PLATTEVILLE - The University of Wisconsin-Platteville hosted a regional Association for Computing Machinery competition that included six teams from UWP that were joined by other teams from Loras College, Clarke College and St. Ambrose. UWP was one of 15 regional cites that collaborated in a simultaneous competition that spanned seven states, two Canadian provinces and over 200 student teams. Last year, over 6,000 teams worldwide competed.

One of the UWP teams finished 30th out of the more than 200 competing teams in the region.

"That is the highest number of problems completed by a UWP team that I can remember," said Joe Clifton, professor of computer science and software engineering. "It is rare for any team at our site to finish in the top 30 for the region."

Student teams participating in the ACM competition are given nine computer programming problems that involve a number of academic disciplines including mathematics and programming. One of the problems that the teams were given dealt with developing a software program that would tabulate and analyze election results from a fictitious country.

Clifton said that not only do the students have to understand the problem as a human, but then be able to translate the solution into a language that the computer will understand.

"Algorithms are the recipe for solving the problems and the students need to use the language to specifically tell the computer how to solve it," Clifton said.

The Massachusetts Institute for Technology finished second in the world finals last year with a team from Warsaw University from Poland placing first.

For more information on the ACM competition, contact Clifton at (608) 342-1558 or

Contact: Joe Clifton, professor of computer science and software engineering, (608) 342-1558, Written by: Jason McGraw, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,

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