Computer science students place third

Cassie Gibbs

News Editor

In a nationally recognized coding competition, four Troy University students came in third place.

The second annual Student Coding Contest was hosted by Pearson Higher Education.

The contest challenges students to “develop relevant, innovative, creative, functional and original applications that integrate with the Pearson (application program interface) APIs,” according to the group’s website.

Vijay Mago, a computer science professor, said that the competition was broken into different rounds.

“The first thing in the competition was for the students to present their ideas,” Mago said. “There were 36 ideas presented in the competition. From the ideas presented, Pearson chose seven teams.”

The seven teams then developed the products and submitted them for judging. Three finalists are chosen based on the product developed.

“This year, there was a tie,” Mago said. “So, they (Pearson) chose the three finalists based on whether the products were in the final stage of production or not.”

The winners presented their products at a conference held in Denver.

First place winners received a $5,000 award. Second place winners received a $2,500 award, and third place received a $1,000 award.

Entries were submitted from September to mid-November, and the conference was held Feb. 20.

“The students (who presented at the conference) were invited to apply for internships with Pearson,” Mago said. “I feel they will have a good chance of getting (one).”

Yhlas Jorayev, a junior computer science major from Turkmenistan and one of the students who participated in the competition, said that this competition was a new endeavor for him and the rest of the team.

“This was the first project for every member of our team,” Jorayev said. “We had to learn new programming language and tools before we used them to develop the application.

“It was very challenging, interesting and exciting for us.”

Chris Seigler, a sophomore computer science major from Daleville, was the team member who presented the application in the Colorado conference.

“I enjoyed the contest,” Seigler said. “It allowed me to explore the computer science field more hands-on and in-depth than in my classes. I was both enlightening and exciting.

“I was the team member who was flown out to Denver, Colorado, to present our project to the judges at Pearson’s offices as a finalist, and there I met many professionals in the field who passed along great advice to further my career.”

The other team members were Ryan Jones, a sophomore computer science major from Troy, and Nicholas Brantley, a sophomore computer science major from Pell City.

Mago said that he was proud of the hard work of his students.

“I am proud and amazed. These students have great ideas,” he said. “They worked hard, sometimes staying up to 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. I am very proud.”

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