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Bethel programming teams perform well in Kansas City

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College students participated in an annual programming contest, finishing in roughly the top third of competitors.

Nov. 9, six Bethel students competed in the North Central North America region section of the annual Intercollegiate Computer Programming Contest. ACM, one of the flagship professional organizations for computer science, puts on the competition, which is sponsored by IBM.

Perceptive Software of Kansas City hosted the competition for the area that includes Bethel. There were 11 teams total at this site.

The region includes Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Manitoba, the western half of Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and the upper peninsula of Michigan.

In the programming contest, teams of three students each have five hours and one computer to solve as many problems as they can from the problem set. Each solved problem is worth one point, with ties broken in favor of the team that required the least time to program their solution.

To be successful, teams must be able to read and analyze problems quickly, communicate effectively with their teammates, have a broad knowledge of classic problems, algorithms and data structures, and possess the ability to apply those skills to produce working code while working under severe time pressure.

Both Bethel teams solved two out of the eight problems in the five hours allotted – good for 110th and 112th place out of approximately 300 teams.

The Bethel teams took second and third at the Kansas City site, behind Benedictine College. For the entire region, Bethel was the fourth-place Kansas school.

Members of team “Thresher” were Erin Engle, senior from Salem, Ore., Megan Leary, senior from North Newton, and Brendan Bergen, junior from Moundridge.

Team “Thrasher” members were Casey Budd, senior from Newton, Dylan Jantz, junior from Newton, and Tim Regier, sophomore from Newton.

Unofficial results are at

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2013-14 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2013-14. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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