Students from Simpson College won the programming contest at MICS (Midwest Instructional Computing Symposium), held at UNI, April 22/23. MICS is a 2-day conference attended mostly by small Midwest colleges. The conference involves students presenting their research, a robotics contest, and a programming contest.
Simpson has been participating in MICS since 2010, and we’ve always done well. In the programming contest we’ve finished in the top 5 every year since 2011. We got 2nd in 2012. But we’ve never won before.
In the programming contest, teams of 3 students are given 8 problems to solve in 3 hours. The problems are very challenging. The winning team is the one that solves the most problems correctly. Teams solving the same number of problems are placed based on penalty points determined by how many incorrect attempts they made.
We took 12 students (4 teams) to MICS this year. The team of Nate Hayes, Christopher Hanson, and Will Roberts took first place, solving 7 out of the 8 problems! This is an outstanding achievement. One other team, from St Olaf’s, also solved 7, but had more penalty points.
The competition was very exciting. Our team was in 3rd place for a while, moved into 2nd with 30 minutes to go, and took the lead with only 12 minutes remaining. Our other teams finished 9th, 12th, and 36th. There were 59 teams in total.
Nate Hayes’s robot finished 3rd in the robotics contest, also very impressive, especially since this is only the 2nd time we have competed in the robotics contest.