Bob Jones competes in American Computer Science League contest in Denver

Members of the Bob Jones Computer Science Team visited Cherry Creek State Park while competing at the American Computer Science League all-star contest in Denver. (CONTRIBUTED)
Members of the Bob Jones Computer Science Team visited Cherry Creek State Park while competing at the American Computer Science League all-star contest in Denver. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Computer science students from Bob Jones High School competed in the American Computer Science League all-star contest in Denver.

Seniors Brady Ford and Will Hildreth and sophomores Eric Black, Daniel Darnell, Alex Dillon and Thomas Harper (alternate) traveled to Denver. Club sponsor Jennifer Rountree teaches C and C++ programming and advanced-placement computer science.

The league administers four regular season contests at each team’s school. Each contest includes 30 minutes for short-answer problems and 72 hours for a computer program.

“Each student works individually,” Rountree said. “Teachers send results to the league for scoring.” The league then invites each division’s top 15 teams to the all-star contest.

Students must learn applications, such as Boolean logic, digital circuits and data structures. With teams from across the country, Canada, Croatia and Romania, “we consider it an accomplishment to even make the cutoff,” Rountree said.

In Denver, teams received six to eight programming problems to complete in only three hours. That afternoon, they had 1.5 hours to complete short-answer problems. Each student worked independently, and their scores were combined.

“We were very pleased with their results. Three with limited programming experience had to be bumped up to the senior team,” Rountree said.

Also, numerous science team members competed in the Alabama Council for Technology in Education regional and state challenges. The Level 4 (grades 9-10) and Level 5 (grades 11-12) won the regional competition.

The Level 4 team took first place at state. The Level 5 team took second place. This spring, Alex Dillon received fifth place at the University of Alabama at Birmingham programming competition.

While the Bob Jones team approached Denver, “tornadoes shut down the Denver airport when we were scheduled to land, delaying our arrival five hours. We had severe hailstorms on our day of sightseeing,” Rountree said.

However, they did visit Cherry Creek State Park, Denver Aquarium “and Pike’s Peak … from Colorado Springs runway waiting for Denver airport to reopen,” she said.

The team plans to attend the all-star contest in Orlando in 2015.

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