The winners of this year's Master the Mainframe competition -- an annual contest designed for students to build mainframe -- have been announced. The contest, which began in 2005, is comprised of three challenges which become increasingly more difficult as the contestant moves on to the next level. Students are asked to become familiar with and operate the mainframe user interface, perform systems programming, and application developing tasks and complete real-life situations encountered by experienced systems programmers.
Hosted by IBM, the top five winners were selected from 1,750 students who registered to compete from 325 schools across the U.S. and Canada. Through a series of challenges, contest participants are tested to apply their technical, problem-solving, and collaboration skills to real-life enterprise computing scenarios.
"Learning about enterprise computing concepts through lectures and classes is one thing, but applying that knowledge to solve actual customer scenarios is another," said Dr. Chu Jong, Assistant Professor, Enterprise Systems Computing (ESC) program coordinator, Illinois State University. Jong went on to say that thanks to the competition, "students get a taste of working with a mainframe, in simulating virtual environments and gaining that crucial hands-on experience, in preparation for real-world jobs with leading companies that will rely on the mainframe as the foundation of their data center."
The first place winner of the overall 2007 competition was Sushen Patel, a high-school junior and mainframe enthusiast from Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas. "I have always been interested in technology and was excited to hear about IBM's Master the Mainframe contest," said Sushen Patel. "The interface is so easy to learn and navigate that you almost forget how powerful and complex the mainframe actually is."
The four other students rounding out the top five 2007 Master the Mainframe contest winners are:
- Anar Huseynov: Senior, Computer Science Major, Math Minor at West Texas A&M University.
- Krzysztof Janiszewski, Post-Graduate Work, Computer Science, at Edison College.
- Christian McArthur: Senior, Major in Computer Science, Texas State University.
- Zach Savishinsky, Senior, Computer Science Major, SUNY Binghamton.
A complete list of winners is available here.