University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Triumphs in the Windward International Collegiate Programming Championship

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UW-Eau Claire triumphs over Stanford, Georgia Tech, Harvey Mudd and other prestigious universities in the Windward code wars.

Windward International Collegiate Programming Champions, Windward code wars champion team

Team Grande Letra O reacts to their artificial intelligence player they just created.

“One thing from our perspective as instructors: we really appreciated that the competition emphasized strategy and problem solving rather than simply coding," Joline Morrison, Computer Science dept. at UWEC

The University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire has taken top honors in the first Windward International Collegiate Programming Championships. On January 28, Team ‘Grande Letra O’ dueled through a hard-fought semifinal and a 10-round final to capture the Windward Code Wars Trophy, defeating its closest rival by a final score of 502-468. ‘Grande Letra O’ is made up of students James Felton, Jonathan Fretheim, Becky Sippert and Corey Schulz.

Hundreds of teams from a dozen prestigious universities across North America – Boston University,Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Harvey Mudd College, Georgia Tech, Purdue University,Stanford University,University of Illinois, University of Massachusetts, University of Toronto and University of Wisconsin – gave up their free time today to match wits against fellow computer science students in a previously undisclosed programming game.

Sponsored by enterprise reporting software giant Windward, the Code Wars competition is a fight to the death – literally. Each team writes an Artificial Intelligence player for a combat game based on the game RoboRally. Students race against the clock and one another to analyze the A.I. problem, write a solution, test and debug it.
After the 8-hour programming deadline, teams go head to head, with each team’s software trying to kill the other teams in the game.

"The students who participated are the best of the best, and the programming effort they exerted is mind-blowing," said David Thielen, Windward founder and CTO. "These future software industry employees will shape our future. We're proud to be able to take part in their academic experience – while giving them the opportunity to learn through a fun competition."

Teams of two to five young men and women participated in university-level competitions from 10am to 6pm local time to determine each school's top two teams. Those teams were then placed in three semifinal brackets of eight teams each. After battling it out in the semifinals, the top two teams from each bracket and the two highest-scoring wildcard teams were ready to compete in the championship round.

Team ‘Grande Letra O’ was the resounding winner with 502 points. Second place went to Team Skyward Nord from the University of Massachusetts, with 468 points, and third place went to Team BotBebop from Purdue University, with 433 points.

"We went into this thinking, ‘Oh, let’s just show up and give a good try’ and we can’t believe what happened," said James Felton. "It was a lot of fun brainstorming, strategizing and coding with my teammates – they’re awesome!"

Photos from the daylong competition are available on the Windward Code Wars Facebook page at The semifinal and championship videos as well as the brackets are viewable on the Windward code wars page at:

About Windward
Windward offers business intelligence, enterprise reporting, document generation and Web-based business intelligence solutions. Launched in 2002, Windward is the only full-featured, robust Java and .NET engine to use Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint as a layout tool, putting template design and report and document generation power in the hands of the end user. Any Office user can easily and securely create reports and documents with almost no learning curve. Additionally, OEMs and VARs use Windward’s reporting component.

Windward works by merging any XML, SQL or custom data source—or any combination thereof—with a Microsoft Office report template. It feeds data into the template to create a what-you-see-is-what-you-get report or document that can be generated in DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, PDF, HTML, direct to printer, RTF, XLS, WordML, TXT, and CSV. Windward runs as a standalone application or in an enterprise computing environment. Also unique, Windward implements in hours, offers affordable server-based pricing, and offers “prompt, fantastic” technical support via a 24/7 support forum and support contracts. A free trial of Windward's products is available at

The Windward user group spans 70 countries. User applications include financial statements, inventory reports, product-usage reports, purchase orders, invoices, training certificates, timesheets, and licenses. Other applications include reporting to meet requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley, Patriot Act, ARRA, HIPAA, Health Level Seven, Gramm-Leach-Blailey, Basel II, and other U.S. and international acts and accords affecting financial services, real estate, government, and insurance industries and the consultants and integrators serving them.


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Annette Grotz
Windward Studios
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