Goshen College students win computer programming competition

Seth Yoder & Maria Jantz

Two Goshen College students recently won first place in the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC) Midwest programming competition on Sept. 20 at Olivet Nazarene University, in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

Twenty-nine teams participated in the contest. The winning team from Goshen College included Maria Jantz, a senior physics and interdisciplinary double major from North Newton, Kansas, and Seth Yoder, a senior music and informatics double major from Quakertown, Pennsylvania. The other winning teams were from Calvin College and Spring Arbor.

In the contest, students were given up to six computer programming problems, to solve as many as possible in four hours. The team who completed the most problems that were approved by the judges in the least amount of time was named the winner. Jantz and Yoder completed five of the problems.

“We thought we were competing for third or fourth, so we were surprised when we won,” Jantz said. “It felt good.”

Neither Jantz nor Yoder are computer science majors – Jantz studies physics and Yoder studies music and informatics – but both are drawn to programming because of the challenge it provides.

“The thing with programming is that you can take as many classes as you want,” said Yoder, “but to get really good at programming you have to do it outside of class, you have to actually be excited enough about it to want to do it in your free time as a hobby.”

As computer programming continues to prove to be a valuable skill for college graduates, Yoder, Jantz and other students have taken advantage of opportunities like CodePurple, a co-curricular programming and information technology organization in which students can cultivate their computing and programming skills in a professional setting.

“I think that everyone in the computing department at Goshen is really excited about programming, so that kind of pulls you in and makes you more excited about it,” Jantz said.

Goshen College currently offers majors and minors in computer science, information technology and informatics.