Students at Touro join a programming competition


Fifteen students from Touro’s Lander College of Arts & Sciences in Flatbush competed in the New York regional division of the International Collegiate Programming Contest. The students formed five three-person teams, each team spending five hours huddled over a computer using their programming skills to solve real world problems.

“The competition was a mini taste of a real job — working on code with a team and all of us collaborating and trying to meet a deadline,” said Hudi Teitelbaum of Woodmere, computer science major and a member of one of the two all-girls teams from Touro. Hudi is preparing for a career in technology.

“My career goal is to prevent cyberattacks and protect and secure companies, and maybe even the country one day,” said Chana Lavian, another participant.

“It required creativity, collaboration and the ability to perform well under pressure,” said Touro Professor Yizhak Novick, who coached the teams for the competition and traveled with them to the event at New Jersey Institute of Technology. They competed against teams from Cornell, Princeton, Columbia, NYU, and Stevens Institute of Technology, among others.

In addition to a frum environment, Touro’s all-women’s program offers a supportive community for women interested in coding and computer science.

“At any other college, women technology majors are a minority,” said Teitelbaum.

Moshe Hirsch, who competed on one of Touro’s male teams, is planning for a career in software engineering and development. “I’m learning the exact skills I will need for my future profession,” he said.

The Touro Flatbush teams ranked higher in the competition that the teams representing Queens College, Hofstra, Seton Hall University, the College of New Jersey, and they beat at least one team from Cooper Union, Cornell, and NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering.

Professor Shmuel Fink, deputy chair of Touro’s computer science department, coordinated the students’ participation.

“We always look for opportunities for students to learn what it is like to be a technology professional. Experiences like ICPC give our students an edge in choosing a career and getting that all-important first job. We are so pleased with their achievements and their ranking in this competition,” said Fink.