On April 1st and 2nd students and faculty had the opportunity to participate in the Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium on the campus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The regional conference rotates annually to various locations in the Midwest and is dedicated to providing an educational experience to students and instructors at higher education institutions. The conference focuses on the teaching of computing and its use in all disciplines and the incorporation of the study of this technology in the curriculum.
Activities include the presentation of technical papers and posters, as well as programming and robotics competitions. Participants typically come from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. This was the 54th anniversary of the Symposium. Established in 1967, it is one of the nation’s oldest conferences on computer-related issues and associated opportunities at smaller institutions of higher education. The conference this year had nearly 200 students representing 36 universities and colleges.
Students attending from Saint Mary’s were Mandukhai Alimaa, Preston Bluhm, Jacob Clements, Megan DuChene, Anthony Heier, and Shaun Heier. They were accompanied by faculty members Professor Farhad Bari and Dr. Donald Heier. The students attended conference talks and activities and participated in the programming competition. The programming competition was more challenging this year than previous years in that the students code not only had to produce the correct output, but the code also needed to be efficient in producing a very quick result. A total of 29 teams participated in the completion and our two teams did well with one placing 7th and the other 13th.
Plans are already underway for next year’s event where the computer science professors hope to prepare teams for both the programming and robotics competition as well as posters and papers.