Gottshall, team qualify for international programing contest
AMES — Fairfield’s Ian Gottshall, student at Iowa State University, was one of a team of three students who will advance to the Association for Computing Machinery’s world finals programming competition May 20, after finishing in the top three of 232 teams in a regional competition.
Gottshall, a sophomore in computer engineering, Yuxiang Zhang, a senior in mathematics, and Jacob Perin, a junior in software engineering, traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska, for the Oct. 29 regional competition. Teams were given a series of problems to solve, and a panel of judges ranked the teams according to how many problems were solved correctly. To resolve any ties, teams were further ranked by the amount of time it took to solve each problem.
Zhang, the leader of the team, attributes their success to teamwork.
“Ian solved one really tedious problem that I did not even understand,” he said. “Jacob gave me ideas and helped me debug programs after I submitted my solutions, so that I could focus on the other new problems. I enjoyed working with my team to solve problems.”
The regional and world competitions are designed to help students develop and demonstrate problem-solving, programming, and teamwork skills. Students have the opportunity to network with their peers, and representatives from both industry and academia can interact with the next generation of computer professionals.
“It prepares us to write robust code and solve complex problems in real life,” Zhang said.
The ISU team will use only one computer and a calculator while competing in the world finals in Rapid City, South Dakota. This will be Zhang’s second trip to the world finals, and the fourth time an ISU team has competed.