HPU Students Win at Prestigious Computer Programming Contest

November 17, 2014

HPU wins ACM Hawaii
HPU teams celebrate winning both divisions at the Hawai'i site of the Pacific Northwest Regional ACM Programming Contest. From left, Jon Real, Allison Diller, Kevin Goo, coach and HPU Associate Professor of Computer Science Curt Powley, Christian Hunstad and Chris Forberg. Not pictured is Demie delos Santos. 
HONOLULU — Two Hawai‘i Pacific University teams won in both of their divisions, at the Hawai‘i site of a prestigious computer programming contest, Nov. 15.  

HPU competed in the 2014 Pacific Northwest Regional ACM Programming Contest, a thorough test of skill for leading computer programming students, sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and IBM. The Hawai‘i site was at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, which also competed, along with the University of Hawaii at Hilo. 

For the first time, there were two divisions in the region: Division 1 for teams that are very strong algorithmically, and Division 2 for teams that have not completed the algorithm course sequence and/or have not competed in programming contests before. 

HPU's winning teams are Division 1, Team 00FF00 (hexadecimal for the color green), with Kevin Goo, Jon Real and Allison Diller; and Division 2, Team FF0000 (hexadecimal for red, predominant in Norway's flag), with Christian Hunstad  (visiting student from Norway), Chris Forberg (visiting student from Norway) and Demie delos Santos. 

Student teams were given computer programming problems to solve and timed for speed in creating accurate solutions. In this annual regional competition, HPU students have performed well, winning the Hawai‘i site competition in 2003, 2006, 2011, 2012 and 2014. 

"Kevin Goo helped coach and coordinate all teams. This was his fourth contest, and third Hawai‘i state win — a tremendous cumulative accomplishment by him," said coach and HPU Associate Professor of Computer Science Curt Powley. 

Because of the large geographic area of the region, the contest is held simultaneously at six multiple sites: Northern California, Northwest (Oregon), Northeast (Eastern Washington and Idaho), Puget Sound (Western Washington), Canada, and Hawai'i. The Pacific Northwest Region includes around 100 teams, with noted schools including Stanford and Berkeley. HPU's Division 1 team placed 16th in the region. 

"This is a strong placement in the region," Powley said.

HPU wins ACM Hawaii
HPU's ACM programming teams and coaches met with university President Geoffrey Bannister, who congratulated them for their Hawai‘i leading performance. (Photo by Daniel Kobayashi)