Ohio Wesleyan Univerity Students Participate in ‘Battle of The Brains’

Two Teams of OWU Students Tackle Computer Programming Challenges in Regional Competition

Ohio Wesleyan students (from left) Amina Mendez, Amit Roy, Zeal Jagannatha, Peter Reveles, Ethan Chapman, and Ian Skoch participated Oct. 22 in the regional ‘Battle of the Brains’ computer programming competition. Participants have five hours to solve several complex, real-world programming challenges. (Photo courtesy of Sean McCulloch)

DELAWARE, OH – Six Ohio Wesleyan University students participated Oct. 22 in the IBM-sponsored “Battle of the Brains” regional competition in Cincinnati. The contest is part of the 36th annual Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest, which will hold its world finals in May 2012 in Warsaw, Poland.

Ohio Wesleyan’s two teams of three students competed in the East Central NA Regional Contest, which drew 120 teams to the University of Cincinnati. Worldwide, Battle of the Brains regional competitions were expected to draw tens of thousands of students from universities in approximately 90 countries and six continents.

Representing Ohio Wesleyan in regional competition were one team of junior Amina Mendez of San Jose City, Philippines; senior Zeal Jagannatha of Delaware, Ohio; and senior Amit Roy of Bangalore, India; and a second team of junior Ethan Chapman of Little Falls, N.J.; senior Ian Skoch of Rocky River, Ohio; and sophomore Peter Reveles of Los Angeles, Calif. The teams finished in 65th place and 95th  place, respectively.

In the words of event organizers: “The contest pits teams of three university students against eight or more complex, real-world problems, with a grueling five-hour deadline. Huddled around a single computer, competitors race against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance. Teammates collaborate to rank the difficulty of the problems, deduce the requirements, design test beds, and build software systems that solve the problems under the intense scrutiny of expert judges.”

Ohio Wesleyan faculty member Sean McCulloch, Ph.D., accompanied the OWU teams to the regional contest.

“We attend several competitions throughout the year and host one at OWU in March, but they mostly are for smaller liberal arts colleges,” said McCulloch, an associate professor of mathematics and computer science. “Today’s competition lets our students compete against all the schools in the region, including places that have dedicated training programs for this contest. This was a great learning opportunity for them, and I’m proud of their work.”

Also competing in the East Central NA Regional Contest were Ball State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cedarville University, DePauw University, Miami University, Ohio Northern University, Ohio University, Purdue University, Taylor University, The Ohio State University, University of Dayton, Wittenberg University, Wright State University, and Xavier University.


Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 47 states and 57 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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