by Taylor Massey
The Republic High School Computer Programming Team won first place by a wide margin at the Southwest Baptist University Programming Contest this spring. They did it despite having a much smaller team than many of the other schools.
Only two students, senior Logan Gray and sophomore Cooper Davis, attended the competition at SBU for Republic. This makes the team dynamic very unique for the two students and their advisor, Mrs. Robin Robertson. Robertson teaches computer science classes and also serves as advisor of the CyberPatriot Club at RHS.
The team not attended a competition in the last three years, which made the preparation process and actual contest a learning experience for everyone involved. However, the pair managed to generate a strong lead around two hours into the competition.
“We had to understand the logic and puzzle of the problem that was given to us and think of a way to create a code that would solve that problem with any given input. By the first hour, only our team had solved one problem and all the other teams were kind of stuck. By the second hour, we had solved four problems and some other teams had solved one or two. Logan and I also got our team to a big lead of six problems,” said Davis.
Davis and Gray had to compete against five other schools at the tournament, as SBU aimed to keep the competition small this year. However, the competition still utilized uniform standards for the more informal contest. The participants used International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) rules to solve their respective problems. These rules indicate information about the programming languages students can use and proper etiquette for the contest.
Davis said his experience with the Computer Programming Team is very satisfying for him because of how it feels to complete a problem.
“My favorite part about competing is the feeling of submitting code and getting my results saying it worked. It may not seem that important or interesting, but the work and thought that Logan and I put into our code was rewarded with a big green checkmark saying that it worked. I’m pretty sure we cheered every time our code worked!” said Davis.
Davis hopes to participate on the programming team again next year and continue his own success within coding and programming.