Programming Club beats reigning champions in upset

By Denebola
Published: March 2008

By Nicole Repina

The Newton South Programming Club won first place in the annual Providence College Programming Contest, the largest computer-programming contest in New England, over the Westborough team, winners of the past seven competitions.
During the two day event on February 26, a total of 34 teams participated. Teams came from different locations, including New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
The four members chosen to go to the competition were senior captains Josh Larson and Maxim Starobinets, sophomore Michael Keselman, and senior Matthew Weaver.
The victory came as a surprise to the team members as they had not spend much time preparing for the competition.  This year was the first time the club participated in any sort of competition.
The competition involved working in pairs and solving ten computer science problems within the set time limit of three hours.
Up to the last round, they were in second place. “It was a very free environment – we didn’t expect it to be that fun, but it was, senior captain Maxim Starobinets said. The team members enjoyed working together, a skill required to do well in this sort of competition.
Each team spent as little time as possible on every problem since time was an issue, making the contest more intense and exciting.
“I liked the thrill of the competition, Keselman said.
This year, Newton South beat all 33 other teams including Westborough.
The Programming Club started this year by seniors Josh Larson and Maxim Starobinets. It meets twice a week and is coached by South math teacher Margery Waldron.
There will be an upcoming competition in May, similar to the Providence College Programming Contest, and Waldron hopes that they will repeat their success.

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