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The e-newsletter of Chestnut Hill College

Five CHC Students Excel at Regional Programming Contest

Five CHC Students Excel at Regional Programming Contest

winning poster
Muath Alangari '15 stands with his poster detailing the pyramid model.
Marilee Gallagher '14

Five students from CHC’s Team Programming Techniques course competed in the 31st annual Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC) Eastern Regional Conference at Stockton University in New Jersey last fall. 

The team of Dylan Riemer '16 and Glenn Matthys '16 took second place in the programming competition and the team of Miriam Leffler '16 and team captain Julia Harrison '15 took fourth. Muath Alangari '15 placed first in the poster presentation.

The contest pitted 19 teams of two or three people head-to-head to solve as many programs as possible in the three-hour time limit. Students were allowed to code in Java or C++. Once a solution was found, the teams submitted to the computer running Linux, and only one person was allowed on the computer at a time. Hard copies of code, use of printed textbooks and programming language references were permitted, however no other electronics such as cell phones and calculators were allowed. General web access was also prohibited. 

In order to prepare for the contest, the programming class worked through past years’ problems, which could be found online on the mathematics problem-solving site, Project Euler, and others.

This was the second year CHC competed in the contest, placing 17th at last year's event at York College, but the first time the College sent two teams. It was also the first time any CHC teams placed in the top five.

"It was a huge achievement," says Susan Ceklosky, instructor of computer science, who has led the programming team since joining the College three years ago and who taught programming as a class for the first time last year.

While his classmates were earning their top five finishes, Alangari was presenting in the poster demonstration.

"There are problems in communication among IT firms that cause projects to fail, so I came up with a new methodology called the pyramid model to try to identify what the problems were and why they existed," says Alangari.

Alangari tested his theory by having students in another computer science course use his new methodology and evaluate its effectiveness. The course lasted six weeks and he attended every session, gathering information for his case study. Following the course's completion, Alangari interviewed the students about the success of his new methodology.

"It was the first time I ever entered a contest," he says. "I'm excited to win."

— Marilee Gallagher ’14