Tuesday, April 3, 2012

PACISE 2012 - Victory!

The Programming Team competed (as always) in this year's PACISE competition.  PACISE is the annual conference for faculty who teach computer science or information systems in PASSHE schools and always includes a programming competition for our students.

Our first team, Ship Derezzed! (Jessica Burns, Steve Bussey, and Danielle Johnston) placed first solving 4 of the 6 problems (NOT the one I submitted!)  Team Sigh (Josh Beck, Josiah Knoll, and Noah Kline) solved two problems and Hexadecimators (Emily Bruckart, TJ Dalious, and Fred Young) solved one problem.

As part of the conference, they got to see a presentation by one of the engineers who helped develop Watson, so it was a successful trip on all fronts!

Back row: Noah KlineJoshua Beck, Danielle Johnston, Fred YoungJosiah Knoll, and Tj Dalious.
Front(ish) row: Matt Miller, Steve Bussey, Jessica Burns, Emily Bruckart, and Matthew Hydock.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Humans vs. Aliens in Design Patterns

This semester, the sophomores in our Design Patterns class created a game where humans battle it out with aliens. You can watch it on our YouTube channel.

Here is a legend to explain the graphics (clearly, this course was NOT focused on game graphics!):
Green Triangles = Alien
Purple Circle = Human
Black Square = Pistol
Orange Square = Pulse Rifle
Blue Square = Plasma Cannon
Red Square = Chain Gun
Bar along one side = remaining health points

The health bar represents the back of the Human or Alien and helps determine what direction the Human or Alien is facing. Each life form (e.g. Human or Alien) is using a state pattern to determine it's actions (Finding a weapon, Finding a target, Attacking a target, or Reloading). Lifeforms that die are replaced with it's corresponding type (e.g. Human for a Human). Each Alien is given a Linear Recovery Rate that recovers a random amount of health points at a random time rate. For example 5 health points every 4 time ticks. Each Human is given a random amount of armor. The Alien's state pattern has a special case that if the Alien gets hurt enough it will "run" away until enough health is recovered. The Human's state pattern has a special case that if the Human comes across a better weapon (it does more damage) it will swap weapons. The other patterns used in the program: Strategy for the Alien's recovery system, Observer for the time system, and Decorator for the weapon system.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WiCS Shopping Trip

Last weekend, our Women in Computer Science took a trip to the Hagerstown Outlets with the goal of preparing for interviewing. Everyone got their makeup done so they could see what professional makeup looks like. A couple of seniors purchased suits and everyone else had fun shopping. In their words, "Now they just need the interviews at which to use the suits!"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

IEEE Extreme Competition

In October, the programming team competed in the IEEE Extreme Programming Competition - a 24-hour, worldwide, internet competition.  And we were stellar!!!  Four teams in the quarter of all teams competing!   Two teams in the top 20% and one team in the top 10%.

Derezzed: 147th Overall (9.70%)        
Harmony: 229th Overall (15.11%)
Hexadecimators: 291st Overall (19.20%)
HoneyBadgers: 342nd Overall (22.56%)

out of 1516 total teams.

Derezzed: 2nd (Region)       
Harmony:  5th (Region)
Hexadecimators: 7th (Region)
HoneyBadgers: 8th (Region)
out of 21 teams in the region.

Team Members:
  • Derezzed
    • Jessica Burns
    • Steve Bussey
    • Danielle Johnston
  • Harmony
    • Jen Funck
    • Nick Hydock
    • Matt Hydock
  • Hexadecimators
    • Emily Bruckart
    • Kevin Dederer
    • Corbyn Johnson
  • HoneyBadgers 
    • Greg Battaglia
    • Zack Lessie
    • Andrew Perterson

Yes, we are cool!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

11/11/11 Party This Friday!

When I was eight (40 years ago!), I discovered that there was only one day in each century when all of the digits of the date as we write it are the same: 11/11/11.  I vowed then to have a huge party when that date came around!  Well, this Friday is the day!!!

We will be doing all sorts of fun things: watching movies (The Matrix, because Neo is The One and Ocean's 11, of course!), playing video games, playing board/card games (Uno! and others).  There will be lots of good food and fun to be had and everyone is welcome!  Please come!!!!!

The next date of this kind of party will be 01/23/45, but I doubt I will still be here . . .

Accreditation Visit

I have already missed one of these daily blogs, so I will do two today.  This one is my excuse!

We had our onsite visit from our accreditors from Sunday through yesterday.  They certainly looked at everything VERY carefully.  They had meetings with all of our faculty, a set of students, support places like the library and the sciences, and a wide variety of administrators.  We have a couple of things to fix up, but they said wonderful things about our students, our faculty, and the support we get from our administration.  While I was exhausted at the end of the day yesterday, I always like bragging about what we do!

Monday, November 7, 2011

ACM Regional Competition

Saturday we were a site as part of the ACM Regional Competition.  We hosted 22 teams from 8 schools.  Out of about 170 teams, this is how we placed:

Derezzed 29th place
Jessica Burns
Steve Bussey
Danielle Leonard

Something down 92nd place
Garin Dangler
Greg Battaglia
Corbyn Johnson

Hexadecimators 101st place
Emily Bruckart
Kevin Dederer
Zack Lessie

I am proud of this response for two reasons:

1) I watched Emily coach her teammates (who are relatively new to this), instead of taking the keyboard and writing code that would have been easy for her.  The longterm benefit of that for the team is much higher than if she (a senior) had just coded the solutions.

2) Our teams showed excellent grace and sportsmanship.  There were some challenges in the judging (which sometimes happens) that put our teams (and all of the teams at our site) at a disadvantage.  In previous years, that would have sent some of our more competitive teammates into a frenzy.  This year, while we were disappointed, we handled the situation much better.

All in all, it has been an excellent Fall for the team (I will post our previous results on other days), and I am very proud of their performance.