HICKORY, N.C. — In the waning moments of the 2005 Consortium for Computing Sciences' Southeastern Region Programming Contest, the A Team from Mercer University's Binary Bears programming team pulled out a victory over rivals Furman University and Bob Jones University.
Mercer's top team, composed of junior John Wright of Warner Robins, Ga., and seniors Samson Alva, Dubai, U.A.E.; Mikell Britton Daniel, Grovetown, Ga., and James Huamonte, Pinecrest, Fla., trailed for much of the three-hour competition. However, it managed to come from behind in the final hour to take the competition with five of six problems solved. The top teams from Furman and Bob Jones completed four of six problems in the allotted time.
"I didn't think we had won it when it ended", said Alva who, along with Daniel, has been a part of Mercer's top CCSC teams the last two years. Mercer also won the event in 2004, 2002 and 1995.
The victory marks Mercer's first successful defense of the CCSC Southeastern programming title and second major competition win of the fall. In October, Mercer's Team A won its third straight Division II title at the Association for Computing Machinery Regional Programming Contest in Melbourne, Fla. The three-person ACM team was made up of Alva, Daniel and Huamonte.
"I am so very proud of all our team members and all they have accomplished this season. They couldn't have done much better," said Andy Digh, Mercer computer science professor and the Binary Bears advisor. "Two years in a row as both ACM and CCSC champs is pretty amazing. Their incredible commitment of time at practice, in teamwork, and with problem solving strategies developed have been key in leading us to success again this year."
The Binary Bears had plenty of success outside their top team. Team B from Mercer placed sixth overall at the CCSC competition, solving four of the six problems. The Team B members included four seniors: Daniel Cartwright, Ellenwood, Ga.; Wes Fincher, Woodstock, Ga.; Drew Hartley, Peachtree City, Ga.; and Joshua Smith, Acworth, Ga.
At the ACM competition in October, Mercer sent five three-man teams and, in addition to Team A's success, Team D placed third in Division II. That team was made up of sophomores James Parker, Covington, Ga.; David Thomas, Macon, Ga.; and Wright.
Founded in 1833, Mercer University has campuses in Macon and Atlanta as well as regional academic centers in Douglas County, Henry County and the city of Eastman. With 10 schools and colleges, the University offers programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, law and theology. For 16 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Mercer University as one of the leading universities in the South. The Princeton Review has ranked it among the top 10 percent of colleges in the nation.
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