Unification News for December 1999

UB Computer Team Win Regional Contest

Chris Corcoran
Bridgeport, CT

A three-student team from the Computer Science and Engineering Programs at the University of Bridgeport finished in first place in a regional computer problem-solving contest, beating out teams from the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Middlebury College, SUNY at Buffalo and Colgate, among others.

Students Mher Grigorian, a graduate student, and Tomas Vitulskis and Igor Bolgachenko, both undergraduates, had six hours to solve six computer software problems at the North East North American Regional Preliminaries at SUNY Oswego on October 16. The UB team was the only one out of the 18 teams to solve all 6 problems.

The contest is sponsored by IBM under the auspices of the Association of Computing Machinery, a national professional organization for computing science. "Our first place finish was a pretty big surprise for most teams since we solved three of the problems during the last 30 minutes of the contest," said Grigorian. The second team from UB competing in the contest came in 13th place.

"We are extremely proud of our teamís win," said Dr. Tarek M. Sobh, the director of the School of Engineering and Design. "Our Computer Science and Computer Engineering Programs are unique in that our undergraduate students do research and publish scholarly papers. The reason we have this caliber of student is due to the fact that we offer great scholarship packages, a strong internship program and small classes," said Sobh.

The first-place UB team will advance to the regional finals held on November 6th at Westfield State College in western Massachusetts. Other teams there will include Harvard and MIT. The winner of that contest will advance to the world finals in Orlando, Florida. The UB team has consistently ranked in the top twenty percent in the computer competition since it began competing three years ago, Sobh said, adding that the Department would like to add a Ph.D. program in computer science and computer engineering in the near future.

The Bridgeport and the UB Stamford campus combined computer programs have grown from 100 students in 1994 to approximately 550 this year, including both graduate and undergraduate students.

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