Binary Bears Capture Second Place at Regional Programming Competition


GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Mercer Binary Bears computer programming team captured second place at the 20th Annual Southeastern Small College Programming Contest, sponsored by the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, held this past Saturday on the campus of Furman University.

Among 30 teams representing 20 institutions, the Binary Bears finished ahead of Berry College, Davidson College, Furman University and The Citadel, to name a few. Wofford College took first place, solving seven of the eight problems in the set. Mercer solved six problems, and was the only university to have a second team also in the top 10. The full scoreboard and problem set are available online.

A record number of teams participated in the three-hour contest. Each of the four-member teams came from smaller schools without graduate programs in computer science. The contest is held annually in conjunction with the Consortium for Computing Sciences Southeastern Conference.

The team of Stephen Antalis (senior double-major in computer science and history from Dalton), Stephen Finney (senior in computer science from Macon), John Robison (junior in computer engineering from Woodstock) and Kyle Wright (senior in computer engineering from Kathleen) worked together effectively with one machine to bring home the second-place trophy for Mercer.

“Mercer's top team kept its poise throughout and used outstanding time management, teamwork and debugging strategies in solving the more difficult problems,” said Dr. Andy Digh, associate professor of computer science and adviser for the Binary Bears. “Each of their solutions passed some difficult test cases, and their solution for the final problem came with six minutes left on the clock.”

Additionally, the team of James Callender (senior in computer engineering from Snellville), Josh Deremer (senior in computer engineering from Jefferson), Steven Hussung (senior in computational science from New Market, Tenn.) and Tanner Perrin (junior in computational science from Tallahassee, Fla.) solved five problems and placed sixth.

“Mercer now has had more success and top 10 finishes in this competition over the last 20 years than any other university in the Southeast,” said Dr. Digh.

These eight students will make a presentation on Friday at 10 a.m. at a colloquium sponsored by the Computer Science Department in Room 204 of the Computer Science Building. The colloquium is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Kyle Sears
Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​