UNT team emerges as the only U.S. entrant to qualify for the finals in the 6th International 24-hour Programming Contest in Budapest April 21-23

Monday, April 10, 2006

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The Texas Codeboys, a three-person computer programming team from the Computer Science and Engineering Department in the University of North Texas College of Engineering, qualified as one of only 30 teams from around the world to advance to the final round of the 6th International 24-hour Programming Contest.

This year's final round is set for April 21-23 in Hungary at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. It is operated by the Electrical Engineering Students' Hungarian Association and the Károly Simonyi College for Advanced Studies.

Members of the Texas Codeboy team are Jack Lindamood, a senior computer science and engineering major from Dallas; Michael Mohler, a first year graduate student in computer science and engineering from Cedar Hill; and John Rizzo, a junior computer science and mathematics major from Houston. They will travel to Budapest with their teaching coach/mentor David Keathly, a lecturer in UNT's Computer Science and Engineering Department.

Contest organizers -- from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm -- say the major goal of the competition is to challenge and provide an opportunity for students and industry professionals involved in computer science and programming to measure their knowledge and ability in an extreme environment.

According to the contest rules, all finalist teams will be challenged to complete a single, but highly complex task (created especially for this year's competition) in the allotted 24 hours.

Participants will be required to use their own computers, but they will not be allowed to access the Internet or use any communication equipment in the course of the 24 hours of competition.

"The outstanding performance of our UNT engineering team in reaching the finals of this prestigious worldwide competition demonstrates the heights our students can attain when they use their education, intellect and guidance to accomplish a goal," said Dr. Oscar N. Garcia, founding dean of the College of Engineering at UNT. "I am particularly proud that they will represent UNT, Texas and the U.S. as worthy competitors."

Altogether 309 teams from nearly 50 countries on four continents (including five other United States teams) registered to participate. Of that number, some 150 teams entered the contest's preliminary round on Feb. 26. Performance at that level determined the 30 teams advancing to the finals.

In addition to being the only U.S. team to advance to the final round in Budapest, the UNT team is the first U.S. finalist in the six-year history of the contest.

While there is no question about sending the team to this international competition, Dr. Garcia says the College of Engineering is seeking contributions to replace the $5,000 that the trip will cost.

Sponsors of the contest include Fornax, a Hungary-based telecommunications company; the Hungarian division of Siemens, one of the world's largest electrical engineering and electronics companies; and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engine ers, Inc.

Lindamood, the son of Johnnie and Marian Lindamood, attended the Dallas Science and Engineering Magnet High School. He is preparing for a summer internship with Verisign Inc., a company headquartered in California that operates intelligent infrastructure services.

Mohler, the son of Gaylord and Artie Mohler, attended Cedar Hill High School. He is exploring employment possibilities with the National Security Agency.

Rizzo is the son of John and Anita Rizzo of Houston. He attended Kingwood High School in Houston. He will begin an internship with Google this summer in California.

For additional contest information, go to http://www.challenge24.org/main.php?main 

Jack Lindamood and John Rizzo were two members of the three-member undergraduate team that won first place at the Southern Methodist University Metroplex Programming Competition on April 8 (Saturday). Two other UNT teams also took part in the competition and finished in fifth and sixth places. The contest included teams from SMU, Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Arlington.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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