Teams to compete in ‘Battle of Brains’


Five teams of students from NMU will compete in the Battle of the Brains regional competition beginning Nov. 15.

The competition, which is sponsored by IBM, features teams of three college students competing in tasks which require both programming and critical thinking skills.

The teams are given a series of challenges to work through. A judge decides when a team has succesfully completed a challenge. The teams’ scores are based on the numbers of problems they solve in a given time.

“The purpose is to have students encounter problems here that they will be encountering with their customers in the world after graduation,” said Mark Guan, a representative for IBM.

This is the 32nd year of the competition and Guan said it has evolved from the beginnings.

“The competition has evolved a lot. Ten, 20 years ago computer technology wasn’t what it is today,” he said. “We have third generation Internet users now.”

The top 100 teams from all regional competitions will move onto the April finals which are being held in Stockholm, Sweden. Guan stressed the networking opportunity the contest offers.

“This is a great opportunity for people to network not only with people from across the United States, but with people from across the world,” he said.

The teams from Northern are being coached by Andrew Poe, a computer science and mathematics professor.