UW-Stout comp sci students take first place in national competition

Computer science students at UW-Stout recently took first place in a national competition preparing them for industry challenges.

The U.S. Information Technology Collegiate Conference was held in San Antonio this year. In years past, it was called the Association of Information Technology Professionals National Collegiate Conference.

The UW-Stout team of Tyler Elwood and Jack Moore took first place in computer network design out of 30 teams from around the country, while teammates Stephen Felton and Pierce Lannue took second. Elwood is an information and communication technologies major, and the other three are majoring in computer networking and information technology.

For the main portion of the competition, students got four hours to design an automated private cloud data center for an online college. This is the fifth year in a row that UW-Stout has had a first place winner for this competition.

Lannue also took first place in a PC troubleshooting competition, with 80 student competitors in total. And the team of Lannue and Felton placed in the top 10 for a system security competition.

Students’ case study proposals are guest reviewed by companies like Cisco, Target, CDW and many others, according to Holly Yuan, program director and student advisor.

“Our success in the competition is a result of great collaboration between our programs and industry partners for all these years,” she said. “Their continuous support and contributions are a big part of why our programs and students are strong.”

Moore said this competition has “helped give me an edge when job-hunting and really increased my confidence and sense of self-value when talking to employers.”

The competition helped him make a connection to IBM while in San Antonio, and he recently had a job interview with the company.

Lannue is set to begin working full-time at Heartland Business Systems in Eau Claire, where he’s worked before as part of a co-op. His teammate, Felton, says PC troubleshooting “is something that just comes naturally to IT students over time.”

“Pierce and I were able to place first and second in this competition without even studying,” he added.

Felton says UW-Stout classwork provides industry-relevant knowledge, while Elwood credits the professors’ job-focused mindset.

–By Alex Moe