Undergrad Student Profiles:
Jason Bosko, Andrew Waterman, Matthew Rognlie
From the Spring 2008 issue of Threads
Matt Rognlie, Andrew Waterman, Jason Bosko, Owen Astrachan
What characteristics do students on successful ACM programming contest
teams share? What practice regimens help ensure success in the contest?
Since Duke teams have done very well in the ACM contests, advancing to the world
finals every year but one since 1994, perhaps we could market Duke’s brand in this
arena and be as successful as Coach K is in developing and marketing Duke basketball.
The students advancing to the finals in 2008—Jason Bosko, Andrew Waterman, and Matthew
Rognlie—all share some characteristics of those on previous teams. Like all our
students, each is uniquely different.
is a senior and a North Carolinian, sharing this characteristic
with several previous world-finalists. Like many, he's a double major in both
Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering. Jason came late to
programming, learning Pascal as a firstyear high school student. Jason has worked
with Professor Alex Hartemink on a software package named SMLR for machine learning
using probabilistic and Bayesian methods applied to genomic and biological data.
Perhaps most notably, Jason has some of his best work, joint with previous ACM worldfinalist
Matt Edwards, ACM team-member Mike Bauer, and Coach Owen Astrachan, visible on YouTube where together the four
run a sub four-minute 4x400 meter relay:
is also a senior, also a double major in Computer Science and
Electrical and Computer Engineering, but hails from New Orleans, a first for one of
Duke’s ACM world-finalists. Andrew plans on building on his success with Duke’s
autonomous, underwater robot team as he continues to graduate school next year.
Instead of running 4x400’s, Andrew hones his competitive instincts in the Cyberathlete
Professional League. Although Andrew’s GPA places him in the stratosphere of Pratt
students, he is better known for the intense satisfaction he derives from driving carefully.
is a sophomore and a Trinity student. However,
Matt shares his teammate’s work habits in doing research for Duke faculty: in Matt’s case
he is working with Prof. Vince Conitzer on problems in the area of computational economics.
Matt excels at excelling, which has helped the team as it develops strategies and tactics for
the 2008 world finals to be held in Banff, Canada. Matt has done extremely well in the COMAP Mathematical
Modeling Contest working with previous world-finalist Peng Shi in last year’s contest
to be one of four teams earning a rating of Outstanding. Matt’s competitive instincts
carry him neither to the track nor to the gaming-keyboard: this year he developed
expertise in all tests standardized as he started on a marathon drive to ace the LSAT,
GMAT, and GRE before his junior year begins.
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