The UCF Computer Programming Team placed third in yesterday’s “Battle of the Brains” competition held in Thailand.

Representing the university, which last year placed eighth in the United States, were computer science students Evan Dorundo, Michael Kirsche and Stephen Royal. Over the span of five hours, the three-member team drew upon their skills in math, logic, graphs and more to solve a problem.

The students beat Stanford, Cornell and the University of California at Berkeley, among other universities. The same team also placed 33rd in the Association of Computing Machinery’s International Collegiate Programming Contest, which included teams from all over the world.

“Not only are the students committed to practicing, but we owe so much of our team success to our coaching staff who devote countless hours to the team effort,” said team faculty adviser Ali Orooji in a press release.

The team earned its spot in “Battle of the Brains” after winning the southeast regional contest in the fall. It beat 108 other teams, marking UCF’s 34th consecutive year achieving a top-three regional title.

This stellar record, unmatched by any other team in the nation, is the result of practice, including seven-hour practice sessions held on 35 to 40 Saturdays a year.


Shana Medel is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Email her at

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