North Central College - Naperville, IL

Computer science students excel at regional competition

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Advanced team members, from left: Pero Atanasov ’11, Jonathan Rascher ’12, Kelvi
Advanced team members, from left: Pero Atanasov ’11, Jonathan Rascher ’12, Kelvin Guilbault ’12, Kurt Seigfried ’12. Missing is Tucker Graczkowski ’12.

March 4, 2011—Computer science students from North Central College were among the top performers at the 2011 Associated Colleges of the Chicagoland Area (ACCA) computer programming competition held Feb. 26 at Wheaton College in Wheaton.

The competition includes two divisions: a novice division for students with one year of programming or less and an advanced division for all other students. This year’s contest fielded eight teams at the novice level and 14 teams at the advanced level. North Central sent one novice team and two advanced teams.

Representing North Central College at the novice level and winning the second-place trophy was junior Benjamin Gura of Crystal Lake, Ill., and freshmen Michael Holler of Plainfield, Kyle Thomas of Aurora and Justin Scherer of Ashton, Ill. (See photo below of Novice team members, from left: Benjamin Gura '12 and Kyle Thomas '14. Missing is Michael Holler '14 and Justin Scherer '14.)

At the advanced level, senior Pero Atanasov of Aurora and juniors Jonathan Rascher of Wayne, Ill., Tucker Graczkowski of Menomonee Falls, Wis., and Kelvin Guilbault of Franklin, Wis., won the second-place trophy. Also competing at the advanced level as a one-person team was junior Kurt Siegfried of Aurora. He placed seventh.

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 superb problem-solving and programming skills.

“This competition is a great experience for our computer science majors,” said Godfrey Muganda, associate professor of computer science and coach of North Central’s teams. “Training for the competition requires discipline and dedication and helps students hone their programming and problem-solving skills while learning to work in teams. By participating in the contest, students form traits and develop skills that serve them well throughout their careers.”

Computer science is among 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.

Founded in 1861 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in the Historic District of Naperville, Illinois—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live”—North Central College is just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes. Visit to learn more.