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Computer Science Team Ranks in Top 15 Percent of Worldwide Competition

Release Date:
11/7/2011 12:00 AM

John Ohno, '13, was part of a team of UNH computer science students that recently competed in a 24-hour programming competition. The group finished in the top 15 percent of more than 1,515 teams from 65 countries.

"The competition is a marathon, rather than a race," explains Ohno. "An endurance-style competition requires you to have the core of your curriculum at hand, but under deliberately difficult conditions, such as being extremely fatigued."

Ohno was joined on the team by fellow computer science majors Chris Dolan, '13, and Nick Pisani, '13.

The contest, sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, started at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21. Fifteen coding problems were released periodically throughout the next 24 hours.

"We would each chose a problem to work on and when we got stuck we swapped problems or started another one," says Ohno, the president of UNH's Computer Science Programming Club. "For the most part, the problems are not particularly difficult, but after being awake so long every problem is a challenge."

Teams are scored on the number of problems they completed correctly and how long it took to submit a solution.

The team members took short naps throughout the competition, but for the most part the members were hard at work. "Many startups, especially small video game companies, operate under this kind of pressure all the time when a deadline approaches," said Ohno.

This article first appeared in UNH Today, November 7, 2011.