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Students Excel at Computer Programming Contest

A student team from Florida Tech finished fifth overall in the Association for Computing Machinery’s prestigious Intercollegiate Programming Contest Southeast USA Regional competition held Nov. 11 at Florida International University and three other southeastern schools.

The team of Roger Ballard, Nickolas Lewis and Nika Nadiradze solved five problems in the five-hour time limit. They had to write code to produce the correct answers. Florida Tech’s second team, featuring Ryan Hartman, André Leone and Calvin Winget placed 23rd. There were a total of 47 teams in Division 1.

(Nadiradze, Lewis and Ballard are pictured above, from left to right.)

“The program must give the correct answer to hundreds of devilishly prepared test cases, and the program must run efficiently,” said Ryan Stansifer, an associate professor of computer science at Florida Tech who has coached the Florida Tech teams for the last 20 years and served as contest director for the Southeast USA region for the past 10 years. “It is a brutal contest.”

Overall, Florida Tech finished third among 13 Southeastern universities in Division 1. The first-place winner was University of Central Florida, and Georgia Tech finished second. It is anticipated that the top five schools will be invited to participate in the North American Invitational Programming Competition, and there is a chance Florida Tech would receive a wild card entry to the world finals in China.

The results of the contest can be viewed at For more information on the contest itself, visit

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