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UW-Eau Claire student excels in computer science competition

September 24, 2013
Travis Boettcher
EAU CLAIRE — A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student recently was part of a team that took first place in a programming competition at a prestigious computer science conference.

Travis Boettcher, a senior computer science and mathematics major from Menomonie, attended the XSEDE13 (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) conference from July 22-25 in San Diego, Calif.

Boettcher attended the conference after participating in the Open Science Grid Summer School program at UW-Madison.

"In Madison, I spent more than eight hours a day over the course of a week learning the ins and outs of a distributed computing software called HTCondor," Boettcher said. "This software and the community that surrounds it is based at the Center for High Throughput Computing at UW-Madison, so I felt very privileged learning directly from the source."

Over the course of the program, Boettcher said he got to know the other students well.

"It was because of their encouragement and persistence that I joined several of them in forming a team for the programming competition in San Diego," Boettcher said.

During the competition, Boettcher's team was asked to solve 10 computer science-related problems in eight hours.

"The problems spanned disciplines, but were accessible enough for the participants — which included skill levels from high schoolers to graduate students — to understand the crux of the question being asked," Boettcher said.

"The teams were also judged based on teamwork, sophistication of code and visualization of the data," Boettcher said.

A week after returning from San Diego, Boettcher began work as a programmer in the information systems department of Marten Transport.

"I am excited to have a job before even completing college, and enjoy putting my programming and software engineering skills to use," Boettcher said.




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