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A team from Leamington District Secondary School works on code during the Regional Secondary School Computer Programming Competition, December 1 at the University of Windsor.A team from Leamington District Secondary School works on code during the Regional Secondary School Computer Programming Competition, December 1 at the University of Windsor.

Teen coders compete on campus

UWindsor’s School of Computer Science hosted the 14th Annual Regional Secondary School Computer Programming Competition on Friday, December 1.

The HAYnguins 2.0, one of the teams from Vincent Massey Secondary School, won first place. Team members Scott Xu, Jerry Chen, and Henning Jiang will get a plaque to display at their school and will each receive a $2,000 entrance scholarship to be used if they enroll in a UWindsor computer science program.

Joe Kuhn, the coach and teacher from Chatham Kent Secondary School, says the contest is a great way to expose students to a university environment.

“Our school brings a team every year because it is good opportunity to experience what UWindsor has to offer, to give the students exposure to a competitive environment, and also to have fun,” says Kuhn.

Twenty-three teams from nine secondary schools in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent competed. Each team of three students works on one computer to come up with the algorithm and code for five problems in three hours. The top six teams took home UWindsor entrance scholarships totaling $18,000.

For those students with little or no coding experience, the school runs two workshops prior to the competition to prepare students. Ziad Kobti, director of the School of Computer Science and competition organizer, says he emphasizes to the teachers the importance of having their students participate regularly in programming competitions.

“Major recruiters such as Google, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft, pay particular attention to students who regularly participate in competitions,” says Dr. Kobti. “Winning is great, but regular participation reflects a true passion for a career in computer programming.”

Early in Fall 2017, the School of Computer Science hosted the ACM Intercollegiate Programming Competition, the competition for programmers from Ontario universities.

“The secondary school programming competition is modeled after the university programming competition, thus giving these teens a true taste of professional competitive experience using the state of the art computing platform,” he says.

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