Among 18 teams from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, a team of three University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast students were named winners of the 2011 Deloitte Consulting’s Hattiesburg Invitational Programming Competition held Feb. 19 at the Deloitte Hattiesburg Delivery Center.
The winning team, Steven Spansel of Diamondhead, Miss., Joshua Stanford of D’Iberville, Miss and Chris McDonnell of Williamsburg, Va. were coached by Southern Miss Gulf Coast computer science faculty members Dr. Louise Perkins and Dr. Sumanth Yenduri. For winning the four-hour competition, the team of computer science majors received a 32" LG flat screen television, an Amazon Kindle wireless reading device, and the game console Kinect for Xbox 360.
“We advised our students to have fun and not worry about winning,” said Yenduri. “This kind of exposure does a world of good to them. Now, more students from our program want to go out and compete.This is a win-win situation for both the students and Southern Miss, but mostly we are both proud of the effort put forth by our students.”
The university was represented by two teams from the Gulf Coast and two teams from the Hattiesburg campus. Both of the Gulf Coast teams were composed of a lead programmer, an apprentice programmer, and a student relatively new to programming.
“The lead programmers gained experience managing a team and focused on accomplishing a task under pressure while the newer students learned the importance of understanding all aspects of a project,” said Perkins. “The newer students were amazed at the programming skills of the lead programmers, but this was a lesson on how important it is to develop their own skills.”
While other teams attending the competition were more seasoned competitors, the winning team, named “Code Warriors,” had less than four weeks to prepare for the competition.
“While we didn't have much time to prepare, we spent what we could focusing on some sample challenges from similar competitions and thinking through how we would solve those problems,” said Spansel.
“The competition was fun. I think it was a great way for Deloitte to make students aware of their organization and a great opportunity for students to learn about jobs in computer science, information technology and other fields.”
Deloitte Consulting, a leading global management and technology consulting company, invites computer science students from across the region for the annual competition. The event serves as a platform for participants to demonstrate their problem-solving, programming and teamwork skills.
For more information about Southern Miss Gulf Coast, visit www.usm.edu.