This probably doesn't make for a great spectator sport. Nonetheless, a team of three computer-science students from UT-Dallas placed 14th -- out of 88, so there -- at the World Finals of the Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest in Tokyo. Which means...? Which means Jack Lindamood, a graduate student, and Michelle "Shelly" Berger and Matthew Dempsky were among the tops in a world-class computer-programming competition, in which the only other U.S. teams to place in the top 20 were those from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology.
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And what did the threesome from UTD have to do to place 14th in the competition? They had to solve 10 computer programming problems within five hours -- one of which had to do with blood typing. As in: "Given the A-B-O blood types and Rh factors of two parents, or one parent and its child, students were asked to compute a set of all possible blood types of the third family member. The programs had to achieve completely correct answers to multiple versions of each problem and the program had to complete within strict time limits. " Yeah, like that's hard. --Robert Wilonsky