Federal Computer Science Competition 2014

Winner of the 32nd Federal Computer Science Competition chosen at Leuphana

For two days, the 29 finalists of the 32nd Federal Computer Science Competition smoked their heads on the campus of the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. Six students were honoured as national winners on 26 September: Florian Behrens (Cochem), David Ehrlich (Paderborn), Alexis Engelke (Hamburg), Adrian Lison (Sassenberg), Gregor Matl (Munich) and Karl Schrader (Berlin). They each receive prize money of 750 euros and are accepted into the German National Academic Foundation. Other prize winners are Vanessa Ackermann (Geisenheim), Emma Ahrens (Geisenheim), Felix Bauckholt (Freiburg), Gunnar Birke (Bad Salzuflen), Lukas Fritzsche (Jena), Manuel Gundlach (Munich) and Martin Helfrich (Planegg). They will each receive prize money of 500 euros. The Ingo Wegener Prize for outstanding overall performance was awarded to Gregor Matl (Munich).

Over 1,200 young people took part in the school competition. The 29 finalists faced a 15-member jury from the fields of science and business. The pupils had to call up their knowledge of IT under great time pressure in individual discussions and in teamwork. One task was to develop the basics for a Scrabble programme. To do this, it was necessary both to store the number of words allowed in a compact form and to quickly calculate the best one from the many possible entries. The finalists were also asked to optimise the processes of a bicycle rental service and to design a rental app that is particularly suitable for tourists.

This year's final round of the competition from 23 to 26 September was hosted by the Department of Information Systems at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. Host Prof. Dr. Burkhardt Funk, Vice President for Professional School and Information Technology, was enthusiastic about the high level of the participants: "The analytical approach to the tasks set was evidence of a high level of expertise and methodological knowledge. The Federal Computer Science Competition is an excellent opportunity to motivate talented pupils to choose a career or study in the subject of computer science. The IT sector is one of the most important drivers of innovation in industry and business. Germany can only maintain its pioneering role if it succeeds in getting as many young people as possible enthusiastic about IT".

Keynote speaker Prof. Dr. Peter Niemeyer, Leuphana Professor of Business Informatics, opened the award ceremony with a lecture on social online networks. With his question "Why do 84 percent of all Facebook users have fewer Facebook friends than their Facebook friends?" he gave the young computer science talents another task to take on the road.

The Federal Computer Science Competition is the most traditional of the nationwide IT competitions. It is aimed at talented young computer scientists up to 21 years of age. The nationwide IT competitions aim to break down barriers to IT and interest young people in the subject. In addition to the federal competition for computer science, these include the entry format Informatik-Biber for pupils in grades 5-13 and the procedure for selecting the German team for the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), in which top talents from all over the world compete. The nationwide competitions in informatics are funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The sponsors are the Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), the Fraunhofer IuK Technology Group and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics. The German National Computer Science Competition is a school competition recommended by the Conference of Education Ministers and is under the patronage of the Federal President.