Local university holds annual computer programming competition

MARQUETTE — Nearly 150 students across the state will be at NMU on Saturday to compete in the 17th annual computer programming contest.

The contest consists of five hours of problem solving by implementing the programming they’ve learned in class. The competition serves as prep for the international contest.

“The ACM programming contest is a major international event,” Andy Poe said. “It draws students from six continents. That’s been around since the late 1970’s and NMU competed in that in 1999, that’s in the fall.

The students had such a blast they said ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be great if we had a contest of our own that is sort of like that but not on such a grand scale?’ So in 2000, we put together the NMU contest,” the computer programming professor added.

The competition is so big that officials have reserved Jamrich Hall for the entire day.

“The math heavier ones are usually most difficult. Trigonometry problems, stuff like that. We have to use a lot of math as well as programming,” said senior Nolan Earl. “Those usually are the most difficult ones because it’s not something you do as often as the other solutions. It’s strenuous on your brain. It’s fun, but it’s hard. It’s a cool experience.

Northern has seven teams competing this year while Michigan Tech has 22.