Mercer wordmark
Computer Students Earn Trip to Japan for Finals
November 30, 2006

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

MACON — Mercer University's Binary Bears computer programming team has earned a place in the 2007 ACM International Computer Programming Contest, the team learned today. The team was will be one of just 21 schools from North America to take part in the competition, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan in March.
The three-man team is made up of senior Britt Daniel, a computer science and math major from Grovetown, junior David Thomas of Macon, a computer science and math major, and senior John Wright of Warner Robins, a computer science major. The three took second place in the 2006 ACM Southeastern Programming Contest on Oct. 27, at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, and earned an at-large berth in the finals. The team answered nine of 10 problems, and only came in second based on the time to completion, losing to the University of Central Florida.
"I just feel like it'll be a great opportunity and a great experience," Thomas said. "We're just so excited that we made it to the world finals, and we're hoping to give some of the other North American teams, like Duke and Harvard, a run for their money. Beyond that, to get to go to Tokyo and to have the experience of competing with some of the best teams in the world is going to be amazing."
Andy Digh, computer science associate professor and the Binary Bears advisor, expected the team to qualify for the trip to the World Finals, but the realization is just beginning to set in.
"To look at some of the schools were going to be competing against, MIT, Cal Tech, Harvard, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, and seeing Mercer's name up there as well means so much," Digh said. "These students have worked so hard and believed in themselves, and now here they are among the best in the world."
About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; teaching hospitals in Macon and Savannah; an educational partnership with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit

— 30 —