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Duquesne University Programmers Compete in ‘Battle of the Brains’

Four Duquesne University students competed in the regional contest of the 35th annual Association for Computer Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest.

Representing Duquesne at the Oct. 23 competition were seniors Sara Ali and Christopher Lard and juniors Chris Coufal and Katie Heaps. The team was coached by Dr. Lili Shashaani, associate professor of computer science and assistant chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

The team traveled to Youngstown for this so-called “Battle of the Brains,” a worldwide competition sponsored by IBM that challenges university students to complex, real-world problems using open technology and advanced computing methods under a grueling five-hour deadline. In one day, these students complete an entire semester’s worth of computer programming.

The Duquesne team competed with teams from 40 other schools, including Carnegie Mellon University, Purdue University and The Ohio State University, in the East Central North American Regional, which takes place simultaneously at four sites.

An alumnus of Duquesne who participated in the program, Randy Schauer, has been donating funds for the team’s entrance fee, which encouraged Duquesne to send teams and participate in this rigorous learning exercise again after a lapse of several years.

The competition reaches tens of thousands of students from more than 1,900 universities, 82 countries and six continents.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.