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USD Computer Science Students Advance to World Finals in Thailand

VERMILLION, S.D. — A team of three University of South Dakota computer science students will compete next spring in Thailand with some of the most prestigious schools in the world, including Harvard and Stanford universities and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

USD is among 23 universities that will represent the United States and Canada at the 2016 World Finals for the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC) May 15-20 at Prince of Songkla University, Phuket, Thailand.

"This is the best achievement for our students so far. It shows that our students work hard and have the ability to compete with the elite group of universities around the world,” said QuocNam Tran, Ph.D., professor and chair of USD's Department of Computer Science.

USD sponsored three teams that took part in the 2015 ACM North Central America regional contest, which represents the area of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Western Ontario, Manitoba, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The USD team comprised of Kurtis Van Gent, of Sheldon, Iowa, Ben Ericsson, of Slayton, Minnesota, and Mitchell Peterson, of Centerville, South Dakota, solved five problems, which put it in the top four universities among 223 teams and qualified USD for the international competition.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News