ACCA Hosts Programming Contest

Caesar Torres

February 7th, 2018

On Saturday, February 17, 2018, computer science and computer studies majors will have the opportunity to participate in the ACCA Programming Contest at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois.

The contest will last four hours from 10 AM to 4:30 PM and that includes practice, lunch, the competition, and the award ceremony at the end.

The contest will test which team of students can solve the most problems using computer programs that they will have to write.

The team that solves the most problems within a limited amount of time, wins.

Every team will be from Chicago-area colleges and universities.

According to the ACCA Competition Rules webpage, “Awards will be given for first, second, and third place in each category.”

The website also states that, “Each school may receive at most one award in each category.”

When asked about this event, Professor James Vanderhyde, an assistant professor in the computer science department, offered up the following competition details.

“You get a team of four people and you go to the event,” says Vanderhyde, “They will give you a packet of problems. You write a computer program to solve those problems.”

The ACCA Competition Rules webpage mentions that after receiving their packets, teams will have time to practice with a PC to which they will be assigned.

Teams can use equipment provided by the competition or they can choose to bring their own laptops, according to the Competition Rules webpage.

This competition will focus on writing Java or C++ programs to solve problems.

Professor Vanderhyde will accompany Saint Xavier students to the competition and will provide help as best as he can.

However, once the competition starts, student teams will be left alone with their computer and problems.

Professor Vanderhyde promises great fun. There will be two competition levels, according to Professor Vanderhyde: A Novice and Advanced level. “We can send two teams of each level,” he states.

Saint Xavier, however, does not always send four teams to the competition. Only three teams went last year.

In order to spread the word about this competition, Professor Vanderhyde sends a message to a Canvas group that consists of computer science and computer studies majors. He also lets his students know in his classes.

If any computer science or computer studies students are interested in competing in this event, they should contact Professor Vanderhyde immediately at

Professor Vanderhyde also mentions a course that can be taken to prepare students for this competition.

“We do have a class in the fall, usually a one-credit class, that’s supposed to prepare [students] for the programming contest in the Spring,” he says.

This class is CMPSC-160: Programming Competition.

The course description states: “Students will prepare for the Spring Programming Competitions. They will perform practice tests using questions from the previous competitions.”

Professor Vanderhyde not only hopes for increased student participation, but also for a positive outcome in this and future competitions.

“I’m hoping for great results,” Vanderhyde says with a chuckle.

You can find more information on the competition, its rules, and more details here at the ACCA Competition Rules webpage:

Caesar Torres

Deputy Editor in Chief

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