Get with the Programming

Computer science students beat rival schools in Deloitte competition

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 

When a team of computer science students from Southeastern didn't fare as well last year at the Deloitte Consulting Programming Competition, they were determined this year would be different.

Indeed it was. The team, going by the name "Void Avengers," used that determination by preparing even more intensely for this year's competition. They earned bragging rights by defeating 20 other teams and taking home the top prize at the 2014 Deloitte competition held recently at the company's Hattiesburg, Miss., Delivery Center.

Twenty teams representing Tulane University, LSU, Mississippi State, University of South Alabama, University of Southern Mississippi and USM Gulf Coast participated in the four-hour competition where students wrote software programs to solve specific problems.

Southeastern's "Void Avengers" included members Sunil Shahi, Santosh Aryal and Saket Khatiwada, who are majoring in computer science.

"It is always an amazing experience to win but this win meant more to us," said Shahi, a senior computer science and mathematics major. "I remember the looks in my team members' faces when we did not win last year. We knew we worked for it, and we deserved better than that. Luckily, it did not break our spirit, and this year our team was more than ready and it paid off. I felt proud of my team."


Members of the "Void Avengers" are, front, Sunil Shahi; and back, from left, Saket Khatiwada; Assistant Professor John Burris, who coached the team; and Santosh Aryal.

The team was coached by John Burris, assistant professor of computer science, who also trained four other Southeastern teams in the competition. He helped them prepare by holding an intramural programming competition as well as several practice sessions to get the students accustomed to the competition format and rules. The other teams placed fifth, eighth, ninth and 17th in the competition.

"The performance of our students continues to show the quality of our program and our graduates in the region, and obviously I am very proud of our students' performance," Burris said. "We will continue to use such opportunities from companies such as Deloitte Consulting, the host of this event, and Ameritas Technologies, sponsor of our intramural competition. The relationships we are building with these and other technology companies in the region are helping Southeastern develop extremely talented and competitive coders."

"Southeastern's victory at the Deloitte Programming Competition highlights the high quality computer science program offerings in the Greater New Orleans region," said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. "This win proves to digital media companies considering locating here that a talented workforce pipeline is growing."

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