UNO Graduate Student Takes First at National Computer Programming Contest

A graduate student pursuing his doctorate in computer science at the University of New Orleans placed first last week at a national science and engineering conference.

Manuel Zubeita, who completed two bachelor of science degrees at UNO, one in computer science and one in mathematics, is pursuing his doctoral research under the guidance of UNO professor Christopher Summa. He is the recipient of a Louisiana Board of Regents Doctoral Fellowship.

According to the Louisiana Board of Regents Office of Sponsored Programs, the board of regents’ graduate fellows program has provided resources to enable select graduate programs to attract top-quality, highly sought-after students and provides fellowship support to graduate programs which have achieved a level of excellence that makes them nationally competitive for the best graduate candidates.

Now in its 12th year, The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) 12 Student Programming Contest is a competitive programming event which took place on July 17 in Chicago, IL, as part of the XSEDE12 Conference. Teams consisting of up to six high school, undergraduate, and graduate students were given eight to 12 problems from various scientific problem domain areas, including “protein folding, Brownie Motion simulated annealing, and an N-body problem,” said Mahdi Abdelguerfi, chair of the computer science department in UNO’s College of Sciences, describing the challenge.

“The competition consisted of 13 teams, one from the University of Michigan, two from Notre Dame Summer Scholars and nine from the XSEDE Scholars program," Abdelguerfi said. "Each filled with graduates and undergraduates from noteworthy institutions such as Stanford University, University of California at San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Texas at Austin.”