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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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U programmers win statewide competition

By Natalie Hale

The competition for the title of “Utah’s Best Programmer” ended in a stalemate last week with five U graduates among the winners.

The award with not only came the coveted title from Berkeley Data Systems, Inc., but also a $10,000 prize for winners.

Because all eight finalists came up with solutions that worked, it was decided that there was no clear winner. Contest overseers decided that the $10,000 prize would be shared among them.

The competition invited computer programmers from throughout the state to participate. Contestants endured three rounds of rigorous programming, each testing their ability to write programs that solve story problems.

“The first round, we had to program six story problems in an hour; the second round, we had to program four story problems in an hour,” said Peter Jensen, an instructor in the U’s school of computing and one of the eight winners of the contest.

The third and final round for the title and the $10,000 prize took place at the Berkeley Data Systems company headquarters in American Fork. Of the eight finalists, five were graduates from the U’s school of computing.

The final test for the entrants was to write a program in two hours for an Internet server that would accept 10,000 connections simultaneously.

“I tried to program as quickly as possible. I am accustomed to pumping out code pretty quickly, but the competition was challenging because I had to learn some new things,” said McKay Davis, a U graduate and a researcher/developer at the U’s Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute.

The eight winners included Davis, Jensen, Michael Callahan and Bryan Worthen from the Computing and Imaging Institute, as well as U graduate Brian Palmer.

“I think that because of the strength of the program here, we attract many bright students, which is why we had so many participants,” said Jensen of the number of participants from the U.

This is the first year that the competition has been held, but Jensen said they are hopeful that it will happen again in the spring.

“This reaffirms that the people at the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute are the best in the state, and that the U has the best program in the nation,” Davis said.

Kim Peterson

Attendants of the SEED (Sustainable Environments and Ecological Design) Panel break into groups to discuss questions concerning the future of the U and the environment Monday in the Union Theater.

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