Tuesday , January 23 2018
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Submitted by guest contributor Young Park

The Graceland University ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) group recently attended their last trip of the year at the Midwest Instruction and Computing Symposium (MICS), hosted by Epic and the MICS Steering Committee at Verona, Wisconsin.

MICS is a regional conference that focuses on integrating computer-based technology into teaching and learning processes of all disciplines.  Activities include technical paper presentations and programming and robotics contests.

Four Graceland programming teams and three robotics teams participated in the programming and robotics competitions.  The programming competition was a vigorous three hour long session of solving difficult problems using code.  The highest-placing Graceland team (David Walters, Emma Byrd, Chen Chen) placed tenth out of over fifty programming teams.

This year’s MICS robotics competition was changed from the traditional maze problem, in which teams had to build a robot that can traverse through a maze, to a basketball shooting competition.  Teams had to construct a robot that could shoot as many Nerf basketballs as possible into a hoop within three minutes.  Unfortunately, none of the three Graceland robotics teams placed this year.

Aside from the competitions, there were a number of interesting papers that were presented by students from colleges located in the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  A few of the topics were on 3D modeling and fingerprinting.  Personally, I attended most of the 3D modeling talks, all of which revolved around the different approaches of creating a 3D model from information gathered within a 2D image.

The ACM club at Graceland University is an opportunity for students and faculty to come together and talk about the newest innovations in computing technology and participate in related activities such as attending conferences.  MICS is just one of the few conferences the Graceland ACM group attends every year.  Other conferences include CCSC (Consortium for computing Sciences in Colleges) and MidGraph (Midwest Graphics Workshop).

Become part of a nationwide organization just by being an active member of Graceland’s ACM club.  No prior experience with technology or computers is required to join.  For more information about Graceland’s ACM club, feel free to contact me (ypark@graceland.edu), our ACM president (Austin Webberley awebberl@graceland.edu), or simply stop by on Monday at 8:00 PM in Resch 103.

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