Mercer’s Binary Bears place in top 10 at regional programming competition

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Eight smiling college students standing in front of columns holding award certificates
Binary Bears debate team (l-r) Joshua Hynds, Gabriel Imlay, Ervin Pangilinan, Stefan Mykytyn, Chirayu Salgarkar, Joseph Jackson, Ethan Dorr and Erin Cargin. Photo courtesy Jackson Paul

MACON — Mercer University’s computer programming team, the Binary Bears, placed two teams in the top 10 at the regional competition held at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, Nov. 3-5. 

Mercer sent two teams of four students to the conference where they took on nine challenging problems. Mercer’s team of Erin Cargin, Ethan Dorr, Chirayu Salgarkar and Joseph Jackson solved five problems in their set to bring home the third-place trophy. They started off strong and were the first team to code a solution to the fifth problem requiring calculus knowledge. 

A second Mercer team with Joshua Hynds, Gabriel Imlay, Stefan Mykytyn and Ervin Pangilinan solved two problems and placed eighth overall. The Bears finished ahead of Furman, Elon, Coastal Carolina and Winthrop Universities.

“I am so proud of the creativity, teamwork and time management they all used in solving the more difficult problems of this fast-paced competition,” said Dr. Andy Digh, associate professor of computer science and faculty adviser to the Binary Bears.

Both teams are made up of undergraduate students majoring in computer science, computer engineering or biomedical engineering. 

The programming competition was held in conjunction with the 2023 Southeastern Conference for the Consortium for Computing Science in Colleges (CCSC). The purpose of the conference is to promote the exchange of information among small college personnel concerned with computer use in the academic environment.