Students compete in ‘Battle of the Brains’

On Oct. 23, four students from Butler University competed in the 35th annual IBM-sponsored Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest, also know as the Battle of the Brains.

The students, seniors David Johnson and Jason Norris along with freshmen Dino Filippi and Kyler Naylor participated in the East Central North American Regional, which was split between four different sites.

Butler’s team competition was located in Cincinnati.

Norris and Johnson’s team placed 15th out of 112 teams, which Norris said was a pleasant surprise for him and his teammate, Johnson.

“We literally winged it, which is why it is kind of a big deal that we placed as high as we did,” Norris said. “The top ranked teams practiced these types of problems in a high- stress environment.

“We only had two people when the team maximum was three, so that’s another reason us placing so high is somewhat shocking.”

The freshman team did not fare as well. They were unable to solve any of their problems within the time limit.

Filippi is still grateful, however, for the learning experience of the competition.

“As far as my major [computer science] goes, the competition is more practice,” Filippi said. “You get to learn the interface better.”

This competition gives students the opportunity to show off their skills.

“These students push their minds to the limit. The amount of talent that we have the opportunity to witness each year is truly impressive,” Michael Karasick, vice president of strategy and technology at IBM, said.