North Central College - Naperville, IL

Computer science students among top finishers at competition

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North Central College hosted the 2012 Associated Colleges of the Chicagoland Area (ACCA) computer programming competition Feb. 25 in the College’s Carnegie Hall. Computer science students from North Central were among the top performers at the competition, including a four-person team that won first place in the advanced division.

At this annual competition, teams of up to four students sharing a single computer work together to design and write programs to solve a set of problems. Teams are rated by the number of problems solved correctly and by the amount of time taken to produce the solutions. To be successful, team members must be able to think quickly, work well together and possess top problem-solving and programming skills.

The ACCA competition includes two divisions: a novice division for students with one year of programming or less and an advanced division for all other students. Eight colleges in the Chicago area participated in the contest, fielding 11 teams at the novice level and 11 teams at the advanced level. North Central slated two novice teams and two advanced teams.

At the advanced division, seniors Kelvin Guilbault of Franklin, Wis.; Jonathan Rascher of Wayne, Ill.; Kaleb Roggenkamp of Botkins, Ohio, and Kurt Siegfried of Aurora beat out 10 other teams for top honors in the division. The team of four computer science majors solved all eight competition programs in just over three hours.

A second North Central team, comprised of senior Ben Gura, junior Kyle Thomas and sophomores Michael Holler and Justin Scherer placed fourth by correctly solving six of the eight problems in the advanced division.

At the novice division, team members sophomore Chris Horst and freshmen Andrew Bockus, Alicia Laubsted and Joe Sortino placed fifth among 11 teams. The feat was impressive considering the team included first-term computer science students competing against teams of second-term computer science students. Another North Central team of sophomores Rachel Crotteau and Kenneth McMahon also competed in the novice division. Both novice teams correctly solved four of the eight problems.

Computer science is among the more than 55 undergraduate majors offered at North Central College. Degrees include bachelor of arts in computer science, bachelor of science in computer science, an integrated bachelor’s/master’s degree and a master of science in Web and Internet applications. North Central College graduates enter the workforce as programmers, database designers, network administrators, Web developers and other careers. Visit to learn more.

Photo: from left, Kelvin Guilbault ’12, Jonathan Rascher ’12, Godfrey Muganda (team coach and associate professor of computer science), Kurt Siegfried ’12; front right, Kaleb Roggenkamp ’12