Speaking Your Language

The business users' blog about document generation and all things reporting software

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Speaking Your Language - The business users' blog about document generation and all things reporting software

And the winner is… University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire!

Do yourself a favor and remember these names:

  • James Felton
  • Jonathan Fretheim
  • Becky Sippert
  • Corey Schulz

These are the four members of Team Grande Letra O (oh, to be a college student again!), the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire team that won the inaugural International Collegiate Programming Championships.

Team Grande Letra O dueled through tough battles to capture the trophy, defeating their closest rival by a final score of 502-468.

You’re sure to be hearing those names again. And when you do – because they’re some of the brightest programmers in the world – you can say “I knew them when…”

Code Wars — the rundown

We’re honored that hundreds of teams from a dozen prestigious universities across North America took part. Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Harvey Mudd College, Georgia Tech, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Purdue University, Stanford, University of Illinois, University of Massachusetts, University of Toronto and University of Wisconsin students gave up their free time Saturday to program for fun.

Yes, for fun. With a little virtual blood and guts thrown in.

Carnegie Mellon: wicked good coding fueled by Lucky Charms.

The Windward Code Wars competition is a fight to the death – literally. Each team writes an Artificial Intelligence player for a combat game based on the game RoboRally.

Students race against the clock and one another to analyze the A.I. problem, write a solution, and test and debug it. After the 8-hour programming deadline teams go head to head, with each team’s software trying to kill the other teams in the game.

Code Wars – the details
  1. Teams of 2-5 students participated in university competitions from 10am to 6pm local time. (Even though it’s hours after the rest of the world has started working, it was still called “Soooo early!” by one Facebook user. Yeah – just scroll down that page to see what time he posted…)
  2. The top two teams at each school were then placed in three semifinal brackets of eight teams each.
  3. After battling it out in the semifinals, the top two teams from each bracket and the two highest-scoring wildcard teams were ready to compete in the championship round. Check out the Code War video.

The winning UMass team with their classy trophy.

(There was one small glitch here – the code for one of the schools didn’t make it to the finals in time. The finals were supposed to start at 6:30 Pacific Time, but they were delayed by 1.5 hours. Thanks to everyone for sticking around and not letting that dampen your enthusiasm.)

Fight to the Finish

The finals were played in 10 consecutive rounds and Team Grande Letra O was the resounding winner with 502 points. Second place went to Team Skyward Nord from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, with 468 points, and third place went to Team BotBebop from Purdue University, with 433 points.

Congratulations and a big thank you to all Code Wars participants!

International Collegiate Code Wars: A.I. Showdown in Two Days

All the excitement of March Madness without the sweat!

Top computer science students at a dozen prestigious universities across North America are just two days away from battling it out in the International Collegiate Programming Championships.

On January 28, hundreds of student teams from Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Harvey Mudd College, Georgia Tech, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Purdue University, Stanford, University of Illinois, University of Massachusetts, University of Toronto and University of Wisconsin will vie for the title of Code Wars Champion.

Fight To The Death

The Windward Code Wars competition is a fight to the death – literally. Each team writes an Artificial Intelligence player for a combat game. Students race against the clock and one another to analyze the A.I. problem, write a solution, and test and debug it. After the 8-hour programming deadline teams go head to head, with each team’s software trying to kill the other teams in the game.

The awesome Windward Code Wars trophy.

Fueled by the programmer’s four basic food groups (donuts, soda, pizza and cookies), teams of two to five young men and women will participate in university-level competitions from 10am to 6pm local time.

The top two teams from each school then will compete in the championship at 6:30pm Pacific time, with the winner taking home the Windward Code Wars trophy.

The school playoffs and final will be webcast. Watch the action and find out more details about the competition at the Windward International Collegiate Programming Championship.

Dissed by a microworker

“We dine well here in Camelot, we eat ham and jam and Spam a lot.” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Any blog writer knows the frisson of excitement you get when a comment is posted to your blog – and how that feeling turns to disappointment when you realize the comment is simply spam material.

Then it gets even worse.

A recent comment we received:

The next time I read your blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me as much as that one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, on the other hand actually thought you’d have something interesting to say. All I hear is a variety of whining about something you could fix should you weren’t too busy trying to find attention.

Excuse me? Did we just get dissed by a microworker?

They got one thing right – there was a little whining on this end. We stopped it by quickly marking the post as spam.

You didn’t see this comment because we moderate our blog and delete (for public consumption anyway) comments that are off topic. But every once in a while it’s fun to take a gander through that file.

A few gems you’ve missed:

“What a neat article. I had no inkinlg.”  Umm… you still don’t.

“I’d personally consider it a great honor to operate at my workplace and be able to use the tips discussed on your site … Should a position regarding guest writer become available at your end, please let me know.”  From a writer who purportedly blogs about educational toys. We’re still trying to figure out how our topics are related. Maybe she saw our Code War trophies?

“Very interesting information. ‘Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up,’  by Gilbert Keith Chesterton.”

And…

“… it contains wonderful posts. ‘And all the winds go sighing, For sweet things dying.’  by Christina Georgina Rossetti.”  Now you know where to go for deep quotes.

“Appreciation pro this article. Present are categorically tips participating in at this juncture to I choice benefit.”  Zoiks! Someone actually took the time to write this.

By the way, according to Google Translate, this is detected as English. To clear matters up we translated it into Italian, then to Hindi, then to Haitian Creole, then back to English and got:

“Admiration for this article. These suggestions are clearly at this point are the advantages of your choice to participate.”

Don’t know why they didn’t just say so in the first place.

Also, is it just us, or why do so many of these comments come from authors with “Uggs on Sale” or “[alternate word for gender] Dating” in their names?

Alright, enough whining. And yes – we’re looking forward to reading your comments on this post!