Nineteen teams from nine Rio Grande Valley high schools participated in the annual High School Written and Hands-On Programming Contest Feb. 20 sponsored by the Computer Science Department at The University of Texas-Pan American.
The competition, directed by Gustavo Dietrich, lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, included 13 programming problems worth from 10 to 30 points each and, new this year, a novice and veteran-level written test similar in format to UIL competition written tests. The first five places from each category received a trophy.
Fifty-seven students took part in the written contest in one of two categories, veteran or novice. Veteran level written test winner was Anthony Garza, Weslaco High School (Robert Medrano, sponsor). Runners up were Aaron Vega, Weslaco High School, second; Javier Marroquin, BETA, third; Caleb Watt, Sharyland High School, fourth; and Peter Carmona, Weslaco High School, fifth. Novice level written test winner was Sharon Thomas, BETA (Alejandro Garcia, sponsor). Runner ups were Adrian Lopez, BETA, second; Andy Medina, La Loy High School, third; Ivan Salinas, Edinburg North High School, fourth; and Lucas Cross, Weslaco East High School, fifth.
Contest sponsors - the competitors' high school teachers - and members of the Association for Computing Machinery student chapter at UTPA assisted in conducting the competition. Serving as judges were lecturers David Egle and Tony Piazza and David Kirtley, software system specialist III - all from the Department of Computer Science.
The Department of Computer Science offers a CAC/ABET accredited Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) degree with a major in computer science. A Bachelor of Science (BS) degree with a major in Computer Science with a required minor field and an 18-hour minor in Computer Science are also offered. In addition, the department has partnered with the Department of Electrical Engineering to award a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (BSCE). Graduate programs include a Master of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Information Technology.
"Our students are hired by Fortune 500 companies like IBM, Lockheed Martin, Intel, Microsoft, Walmart and Exxon, just to name a few. Our graduates can also be found at local companies or institutions like UTPA, The Blue Thing Web Design, and Hamer Enterprises or have started their own companies developing software, creating and maintaining Web sites, and installing and maintaining networks for local businesses," he said.
For more information on the Department of Computer Science, go to http://www.cs.panam.edu/.