On October 20, 2023, students Arne Bouckaert (foreign exchange student, Belgium), Peter Calandra `24, and Chris Velasco `26 headed to Washington, D.C. with Andrea Wentzell '15, M.A., instructor in computer science, to attend the Consortium for Computing Science in Colleges (CCSC) Eastern Region annual conference at Bay Atlantic University.
During the programming competition, the GriffinTech team of Bouckaert, Calandra, and Velasco paced the field early, holding second place for much of the day. In the end, out of the 27 teams competing, GriffinTech placed 5th overall, the best result the College has had at the competition in over seven years. Teams were ranked according to the number of problems solved correctly and how quickly those problems were solved. Ties were broken based on the time required to finish solving the problems and the number of program runs.
GriffinTech completed two highly complex programs first and came in second for several additional prompts. Though the CHC students were outpaced in the last thirty minutes, the results demonstrated the advancement of the computer sciences and information technology (CSIT) program at the College.
In addition, Wentzell presented a “Nifty Idea” talk titled “Dear Neighbor: Blending Computer Science, Experiential Learning, and Community Outreach for Real-World Application.” The talk discussed the CSIT on-site internship program’s connection to the mission and survey results from students/clients. Since the program’s formation in Spring 2021, 14 projects have occurred with over 21 students participating. Wentzell commented, “The talk was well received by colleagues in the computing field, and several valuable connections were made throughout the conference.”
Overall, the CHC group was able to engage in conversations around data privacy, curriculum for small liberal arts computer science programs, women in computing, artificial intelligence, DEI, and more during the two-day conference in D.C..