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Three Teams from Southwestern Participate in the World’s Most Prestigious Computer Programming Contest

  • News Image
    Members of the SU Pirate team (Aaron Kinsman, Nicholas Ashford and Alan Lowry) prepare for the 2009 Battle of the Brains. (photo by Carlos Barron)
  • News Image
    Members of the SU Equipo team (Erick Bauman, Darren Allen and Adam Scully) prepare for the Battle of the Brains with advisor Rick Denman. (photo by Carlos Barron)

Competition focuses on using computers to solve real-world problems

Three teams from Southwestern will participate in the world’s most prestigious computer programming competition Nov. 6-7.

The International Collegiate Programming Contest is sponsored by IBM and is run by the Association for Computing Machinery, which is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society.

The competition is commonly referred to as the Battle of the Brains, and challenges students to solve real-world problems using open technology and advanced computing methods under a grueling five-hour deadline. The competition is aligned with in IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative, which seeks to create smarter software to make the planet more efficient and intelligent.

More than 7,100 teams from universities around the world will battle for a spot to attend the World Finals, which will be held Feb. 5, 2010, in Harbin, China.

The Southwestern teams will participate in a regional competition to be held at Texas A&M University. Other schools participating in this event include Rice, Texas A&M, Texas State, UT-Austin, Trinity and the University of Houston.

The SU Root team includes Daniel Bauer, Lane Hill and Michael Party. The SU Equipo team includes Darren Allen, Adam Scully and Erick Bauman. The SU Pirata team includes Aaron Kinsman, Nicholas Ashford, Alan Lowry and reserve Jason Catron.

The teams are coached by Richard Denman, associate professor of math and computer science, and Barbara Anthony, assistant professor of math and computer science. 

Denman said the students have been preparing from 2 to 5 p.m. every Friday afternoon since late August.

Last year, the SU Root team made up of junior Tommy Rogers and seniors Stephen Foster and Bob Potter claimed the title of Top Undergraduate Institution in the region.

Southwestern also has teams preparing for the Putnam Competition in Mathematics in December and for the Imagine Cup competition, which runs all year long.

For more information about the IBM contest, visit or follow along on Twitter at