All-Freshman Team Wins Purdue Code War

01-28-2013

left to right: Scott Little, Sean McCullough, Chris Wirt, Matt Gotteiner, Anubhaw Arya, and Dr. Tim Korb.

On Saturday, January 26, 2013, the second annual Windward International Collegiate Programming Finals were held. Early in the day, eight teams (19 students total) competed in Purdue University's Code War competition in the Lawson Computer Science Building. The top two Purdue teams advanced to the quarter finals of the national code war.

Purdue's second-place team, SplatPixel (junior Computer Science major Chris Wendt), competed in the Fourth Division Quarter Finals. The first-place winners of Purdue's competition, Team Dovahkiin, went on to compete in the Third Division Quarter Finals.

Team Dovahkiin surprised themselves with their win in the Purdue competition. All team members are freshman CS majors: Anubhaw Arya, Matt Gotteiner, Sean McCullough, Scott Little, and Chris Wirt. "We're all freshmen, so I had expected to be demolished by an upperclassmen team," noted Little. "When that first test run came around, I think we were all surprised when we came out ahead. It was pretty fun once we could see that our AI was significantly better than the ones provided."

Added Gotteiner, "Our team didn't come into the competition knowing much about AI, so it was a pleasant suprise to win."

Arya, who pulled together some of his teammates just days before competing, said, "I had no expectation of winning or even placing. My only goal was to learn what this competition had to offer, and to use what I would learn in other places, or even future competitions of this type. The part I enjoyed most was watching everyone's ideas, no matter how big or small, affect our design. It was great to see how far every two hours of teamwork would take us."

"As someone that simply loves programming, the exhilaration of competing in my passion was enough to sell me on the idea of entering, and I'm so glad I did!" concluded Wirt.

The winning teams were each presented with a trophy by Assistant Department Head Tim Korb.

Congratulations to Anubhaw Arya, Matt Gotteiner, Sean McCullough, Scott Little, Chris Wirt, and Chris Wendt and to all of the Purdue teams who competed so well.