UChicago continues winning streak at programming tournament

Steve Koppes
Associate News DirectorUniversity Communications

Bill Waldrep, a fourth-year in computer science, recently took the $5,000 top prize in the Illinois Technology Association’s third annual Fall Challenge, a programming skills tournament for technology students attending targeted Illinois universities.

Waldrep also is a member of the Whiteboard Erasers, the UChicago computer programming team that took first place in November in the Mid-Central USA regional of the Association of Computing Machinery/International Collegiate Programming Contest. The team will compete next summer in the World Finals in St. Petersburg, Russia.

This is the third consecutive year that a UChicago student has won the ITA Fall Challenge. Last year’s winner was Louis Wasserman, SB’12, while the 2010 champion was Michael Lusignan, a graduate student in computational neuroscience.

The Fall Challenge begins with an on-campus tournament. The top 50 scores from across the 11 invited universities are then invited to compete in a more rigorous tournament for cash prizes to undergraduate students placing in the top three. The Final Challenge also includes a networking event to introduce the competitors to local technology leaders. A full day of interviewing also is available to all Final Challenge participants.

To date, participating ITA companies have met with more than 1,700 technology students across Illinois and the Chicago region. Nearly 20 positions have been filled with Fall Challenge competitors who would not have otherwise known their new employers.

This year’s ITA Fall Challenge sponsors were Backstop Solutions Group, ADP, kCura, Nokia, redbox, Applied Systems, Centro, ChannelQ, MBX Systems and Nxt Team.