Campbell students vie for spot in world finals of “Battle of the Brains”

November 3, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Buies Creek, N.C.-Imagine completing a semester's worth of computer programming in one afternoon. A team of students in Campbell University's Information Technology program will compete with top collegiate programmers from surrounding areas to do just that in an all-out "Battle of the Brains" International Collegiate Programming competition on Nov. 7 at Duke University. The competition is sponsored by IBM.

The most prestigious computer programming competition of its kind, "Battle of the Brains" will include tens of thousands of university students during its preliminary rounds through December. One hundred teams from approximately 90 countries on six continents will earn coveted spots at the contest's World Finals, Feb. 1-5, 2010 hosted by Harbin Engineering University in Harbin, China.

Dr. Mark Merry, associate professor in the Mathematics/ITS Department, said Campbell is fielding a very accomplished team. Team members include David Field, a National Merit Scholar; Patrick Danford, senior Information Technology major; and freshman Joe Williams, who has created computer gaming software.

"I have fielded many teams over the past 15 years but the one assembled this year at Campbell is extremely talented," Merry said. "I am sure that we will all enjoy the thrill of competing against world-class software engineers. This is the first team Campbell University has sent to this event in our 120 year history and gives our students a glimpse of software methodologies used at other universities of a high caliber."

The Campbell team will compete in a regional round of problem solving against teams from 12 universities, including Duke, Methodist, North Carolina State, Wake Forest and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The teams will be challenged to use their programming skills and rely on their mental endurance to solve complex, real world problems under a grueling five-hour deadline. The team that solves the most problems correctly in the least amount of time will win a coveted spot on the World Finals roster.

"The Battle of the Brains is one of the most demanding intellectual challenges," said Alan Ganek, chief technology officer and vice president of strategy for business and technology at IBM Software Group. "These students possess an amazing talent to solve pressing issues involving transportation, energy, water, climate and health. They are a generation with the ability to change the very way of life on planet Earth."

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