Four teams of quantitative methods-computer science students participated in the 2004 Cargill Software Development Contest. This is an annual contest sponsored by Cargill Inc., intended to challenge students to solve a real-world problem at Cargill.

The contest this year involved scheduling interviews for candidates for Cargill positions. Both interviewers and candidates had to be scheduled into specific time slots based on “template” schedules for different positions. The student teams were free to choose whatever technologies they wanted to solve the problem. Cargill personnel presented a two-page statement of the problem on Feb. 12 and the students gave their final presentation of solutions Feb. 24.

A panel of four judges from Cargill viewed the presentations and related documents and chose the winners. First prize was $1,000, second prize $800 and third prize $600. The following were the results:

  • First place team: Marcus Bolen, Robert Phung, Andrew Sonnek, Keith Swanson, Eric Fazendin
  • Second place team: Peter Downs, Gaurav Shroff
  • Third place team: Lee Line, Dan Ficker, Jon Stierman, Dan Sudmeier, Max Havir
  • Honorable Mention: Dave Waters, Brent Schleicher, Aaron Johnson, Robert Warner, Jeff Palzer

You can view photos of each team and of some of the presentations on the Web.

Congratulations to all the participants and thanks to Cargill for sponsoring this event.

Cargill is an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services. With 101,000 employees in 60 countries, the company is committed to using its knowledge and experience to collaborate with customers to help them succeed.


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