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La Salle News

December 5, 2014

Not a Problem: La Salle University Students Win Computing Contest

La Salle University computer science students Candice Schumann and Howard Stickley recently won a problem-solving competition at the Consortium for Computing Sciences in College-Eastern Region (CCSC-E) conference at York College of Pennsylvania.

Teams from 10 colleges had three and one-half hours to solve five problems. Schumann, a senior, and Stickley, a junior, were the only competitors to solve four problems. They received Amazon gift cards for placing first.

“It was a crazy experience! I have never been on a team that solved more than three problems before,” Schumann said. “Since it was my last competition at La Salle, I pushed myself to try to get through as many problems as fast as possible. There were other teams in a different room, so we didn’t know how we were doing in comparison.”

Stickley said, “It was the best experience I have personally had at a competition. Our team has done well in the past, but I don’t remember us ever having solved more than three problems. The experience was made even more memorable because this was Candice’s last programming contest, so this was the last time we would have a chance to work as a team.”

They practiced 16 hours to prepare for the latest CCSC-E competition.

Schumann said she and Stickley tried to solve the easiest problems first, then the harder ones. Schumann has competed at five CCSC-E competitions, and Stickley has competed at four. A second La Salle team, with students Kane Sebesky and Jefferson Lima, also participated, and completed two of the problems.

Schumann has received three grants from the National Science Foundation to attend special programs on advanced mathematics. La Salle University Mathematics and Computer Science Department Chair Jonathon Knappenberger, Ph.D., said Schumann came to the University with such a strong background in math that she bypassed freshman-level courses in her first year, and will graduate a semester early in December.

An educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values, La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order. Money magazine named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth-best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education. Globally, the Lasallian educational network includes 1,000 schools (60 of which are institutions of higher education) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.