Student programmers compete in annual contest

 It wasn’t just the Linfield athletics competing this weekend.

The Wildcats also sent five groups of students to compete at the annual International Collegiate Programming Contest on Nov. 2 and 3 in Newberg, Ore.

One Linfield group earned the site championship for the first time.

The Linfield team, made up by seniors Graham Romero and Guy Neill and junior Amanda Gibbon, competed against 112 other teams, and were the only group on the Oregon site to solve five problems. They finished 20th overall.

“For the competition, there were 13 different problems given to be solved all varying in difficulty,” Gibbon said in an email.

“This year’s theme for the problems was Star Trek. One problem that we solved was called ‘Enterprising Escape’ and we had to figure out how long it would take for the Enterprise to escape from different classes of Klingon ships depending on the Enterprise’s position among them.”

“The goal of the competition is to solve as many problems as possible in the shortest amount of time. There is a 20 minute penalty for each incorrect submission,” Gibbon said. “They give you balloon for every problem you solve and it feels really good to look around and see that your team has the most balloons.”

Other teams competing included the University of Oregon, University of Portland and Lewis & Clark College.

The students competing had many weeks and weekends of training to prepare for the competition.

“In my programming class we had practice competitions in class every week and competitions every Sunday.

“It was a lot of work but all of our hard work did pay off in the end,” Gibbon said.

The Linfield teams have improved since last years competition.

Linfield’s first team earned second place back in the 2012 after completing three problems, and they earned 33rd overall.

While the Linfield’s team earned first, George Fox University took the award of best college at the Oregon site, out scoring the Wildcats by one problem.

The Bruins finished 19 problems, averaging 107 minutes per problem, while the Wildcats only averaged 75 minutes per problem and they finished 18 problems.

“The rest of the Linfield teams did really well too,” Gibbon said. “Every team solved at least three problems and in total we all solved 18 problems which is the best Linfield has ever done.”

Kaylyn Peterson / Managing editor

Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at