• As headquarters, Baylor leads global computer science competition

    Dr. Bill Poucher at 2010 ACM-ICPC in ChinaFor over 20 years, Baylor has held a strong leadership role in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), a global competition sponsored by IBM with over 22,000 participants from nearly 2,000 universities. Students from 82 countries on every continent but Antarctica participate in regional competitions that advance teams on to the annual ACM-ICPC World Finals, held this year in Harbin, China. (A Baylor team won the event in 1982; more recently, BU competed in the World Finals in 1995.)

    Baylor computer science professor Dr. Bill Poucher (pictured at this year’s competition) has served as the ACM-ICPC’s executive director since 1988, and his involvement with the event as a coach, regional director and World Finals judge goes back even further. As headquarters for the competition, Baylor has seen plenty of other Bears involved in addition to Poucher and his wife, Marsha, who serves as contest manager. Computer science professor Dr. Jeff Donahoo, BS ’91, MS ’93, is the ICPC’s deputy executive director, while Baylor computer systems manager Patrick Hynan, BSE ’98 is the ICPC director of operations. Film and digital media professors Dr. Michael Korpi and Dr. Corey Carbonara brought several students to help film this year’s event in China, and of course a host of other Baylor computer science folks were involved, from engineering and computer science dean Dr. Ben Kelley and computer science chairman Dr. Don Gaitros on down.

    As one Bear who attended the World Finals said, “This is as GLOBAL an event as anyone can imagine — colorful, multi-cultural, completely academic yet completely competitive.” It’s amazing, but not surprising, to see Baylor at the lead of such a truly global academic event.

    Sic ’em, Baylor computer science!