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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Thirty High Schools Compete in NJIT’s First Computer Programming Contest: Millburn, Middletown South, Livingston Take Top Awards

Thirty high school teams competed on April 3 in the first-ever computer-programming contest sponsored by the College of Computing Sciences at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

“Some students excel on a basketball court, some on a soccer field, others in computer programming. This contest attracted students who excel in programming,” said Narain Gehani, Ph.D., chairman of the computer science department at NJIT.”

Each school entered a team of as many as three juniors, which had three hours to solve rigorous programming problems.  The three teams that solved the most problems within the three-hour deadline received NJIT scholarships or cash prizes, as well as a plaque and another cash prize for their school. The fourth place team received a gift certificate. 

(Editors: Photos of all the teams are available and will be emailed to your papers.)

A team from Millburn High School, Millburn, consisting of Aaron Potechin, Stanley Liu, and Randy Fradin took first prize. Each student won either $4,000 applicable to NJIT tuition, if they choose later to attend NJIT, or $400 in cash. The team also received $500, which goes to their school, and a plaque.

“Millburn's programming skills were extremely proficient,” said Joseph Leung, Ph.D, distinguished professor of computer science at NJIT. “The questions we asked them to solve were rigorous, but the team showed great intellect in finding efficient solutions. They also worked together well, finishing several programs quickly.”

A team from Middletown High School South, Middletown, consisting of Ken Katzgrau, Dave Palframan and John Feng won second place. Each of them won either $2,000 for NJIT tuition or $200 cash awards. The team also received $300 for their school and a plaque.

A team from Livingston High School, Livingston, consisting of Scott Goldman, Matthew Elwin and William Hui won third-place. Each won either $1,000 in NJIT tuition or $100 cash awards. The team received $200 for their school and a plaque.

A team from Middlesex County Academy, Edison, consisting of Michael Cloonan, James Kong and Rossell Moke took fourth place. They will share a $100 gift certificate from Circuit City. Each team that entered the contest received two free copies of Java textbooks. 

The high level of participation from high schools proved that “students love to program and that the computer science department at NJIT, one of the strongest departments on the east coast, will continue this competition for a long time,” Gehani said.

The other high school teams who competed in the contest were Arthur L. Johnson High School, Clark; Chatham High School, Chatham; Bernards High School, Bernardsville; Communications High School, Wall Township; Delaware Valley Regional High School, Frenchtown; Freehold Township High School, Freehold; Fair Lawn High School, Fair Lawn; Jackson Memorial High School, Jackson Township; Monmouth Regional High School, Tinton Falls; Newark Academy, Livingston; Pope John XXIII Regional High School, Sparta.

Also competing were Spotswood High School, Spotswood; St. Joseph High School,Metuchen; Timothy Christian School, Piscataway; Clifton High School, Clifton; Madison High School, Madison; Hamilton High School West, Trenton; Mt. Olive High School, Flanders; Bloomfield High School, Bloomfield and St. Mary’s High School/Doane Academy, Burlington.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.