Student Chapter ACM

2018 Winter Semester Meetings
Wednesday 3:00-4:00 PM
2311 Jamrich Hall (Computer Science Laboratory)

The ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) is a campus organization that explores a wide range of Computer Science related topics and focuses on student run presentations and discussions. It is a organization for Computer Science and Network Computing majors. The club was founded in 1999 as a way for student programmers to interact socially and professionally.

Activities are chosen by the members and include such things as overviews of the Ruby and Python programming languages, test driven development, iPhone programming, game development, and presenting at the Department's colloquium series. The ACM involves itself in two programming contests each year: one in the fall and one in the spring. The spring contest is held at NMU and is organized by the members of the ACM. The ACM also involves itself in various road trips throughout the year; in particular, ACM members participate in the Argonne Undergraduate Symposium (observing student research projects or presenting their own) each year.

For more information, contact Dr. Andrew A. Poe (Faculty Adviser).

The ACM North Central North America Regional Programming Contest is an annual event in which NMU has participated since 1999, after a fifteen year hiatus.


Most of you have heard this before.  This is a feeder contest to the ACM World Finals, an international event.  The earth is divided into six broad regions, and each broad region is further divided into smaller regions.  The broad region of North America is divided into eleven smaller regions.  Our region is the North Central North America region and consists of those colleges and universities located in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, the Upper Peninsula (but not the Lower Peninsula) of Michigan, Western Ontario (roughly the districts of Algoma, Thunder Bay, Rainy River, and Kenora), Manitoba, and, presumably, Nunavut.


Each region is further divided into sites.  Participants in each region register at a specific site.  Each site within the region runs an identical programming contest.  The winner of each region then progresses to the prestigious World Finals (held this year at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (Pennington Co, SD)).  The site may also dispense local awards.  Our region was divided into fourteen sites.  Our site was on the campus of Lake Superior State University (Chippewa Co, MI).


Competing at the MTU site were the following four Universities:


Lake Superior State University (Chippewa Co, MI)  Coach:  Asst. Prof.

Chris Smith

Michigan Technological University (Houghton Co, MI)  Coach:  Assoc.

Prof. Dave Poplawski

Northern Michigan University (Marquette Co, MI)  Coach:  Prof. Andy Poe Algoma University (Algoma Dis, ON)  Coach:  Asst. Prof. Salimur Khoudury


The contest works like this:  there are a certain number of programming problems (in this case, twelve) that the teams (of three students each) have to try to solve.  The winning team is the team that can solve the most problems, with ties broken in favor of the teams that solved them more quickly, after penalties are deducted for incorrect attempts.


I have absolutely no complaints with the LSSU's administration of the contest.  They are plagued by budget cuts as is everyone.  I won't harp on it, but I'll mention that our teams carpooled to LSSU because there was no funding for a van this year.  Well, LSSU didn't have the funds for two meals, so instead of pizza for dinner we had lunch leftovers...and this was fine.


The contest itself, though...well...with one hour to go before the beginning of the contest, test data had still not been sent from the main site (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), which suggests that solutions had not yet been written at that time.  Numerous corrections were issued to the problems and to the test data as the competition progressed.  We were still getting corrections to the test data forty minutes before the contest ended!


The website wasn't properly updating, either; I'm not entirely sure how accurate the list is, and it was not obvious how well our teams were performing relative to the teams in the entire region.


There were twelve problems this year--like last year--and the problems were more reasonable.  Still, they were difficult.  The median score across the region was one out of twelve and the highest scoring team at the LSSU site completed only three problems.


So, anyway, our teams were as follows, out of two hundred thirty-one teams in the region, twenty-six at the site, and understanding that the results are still uncertified:


EDGAR ANDY POE (seventy-third in the region, fifth at the site, two problems correct):  Peter J. Maurer, Britney R. Reese


TEAM GLASSES (eighty-fifth in the region, sixth at the site, two problems correct):  Gabe V. Appleton, David G. Germain, Cody B. Malnor


THE EXCEPTIONS (eighty-seventh in the region, seventh at the site, one problem correct):  Benjamin H. Harris, Micaiah M. Parker, Matt E.



GIT GUD (ninety-eighth in the region, eighth at the site, one problem

correct):  Dallas A. Johnson, Alex T. Lanthier, Ben J. Slater


This is a better performance than last year.  Notice that ALL of our teams ended up in the top ten at the site.  The team EDGAR ANDY POE was the top scoring team from NMU--and its members are in 201, an intro programming class.  I see good things for them...


The top scoring team in the site was:

RED [MTU] (thirty-fifth in the region, first at the site, three problems


The top-scoring teams from the other participating schools were:

VITAMIN C++ [ALGOMA] (fifty-ninth in the region, fourth at the site, two problems correct)

HAKUNA AUTOMATA [LSSU] (ninty-ninth in the region, ninth at the site, one problem correct)

The top-scoring team in the region--which will progress to World


CHANG (from University of Wisconsin - Madison (Dane Co, WI)) (first in the region, nine problems correct)

The ACM NCNA RPC was run by Asst. Prof. of Practice Charles Riedesel at University of Nebraska - Lincoln (Lancaster Co, NE).  He organized the contest itself and the writing of the problems.

The Executive Director of the ACM International Collegiate Progamming Contest is Professor Bill Poucher at Baylor University (McLennan Co, TX).


Andrew A. (Andy) Poe, Ph.D., Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science Department College of Arts and Sciences Northern Michigan University (Marquette Co, MI)