SOURCE: Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

Illinois Technology Association (ITA)

November 10, 2014 17:15 ET

Top Student Programmers Named in 2014 ITA Tech Challenge

Five Students Out Coded Hundreds of Their Peers to Win Top Spots in Midwest Programming Skills Competition; Finalists Interviewed by Top Chicago Tech Companies

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Nov 10, 2014) - The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) held its fifth annual ITA Tech Challenge programming skills competition on Friday, November 7.

The ITA Tech Challenge began in September with qualifying exams held at ten participating universities. Students were challenged to solve a three part exam using their languages of choice, such as C++, C#, JavaScript, Python and PHP. Of the hundreds who took the initial exam, 48 qualifying students accepted and traveled to downtown Chicago to take the Final Challenge and compete for a $5,000 prize.

"When it comes to tech, Illinois is growing four times the state average, with more than 25,000 open computing jobs, but unfortunately we had less than 3,000 computer science graduates last year," said Fred Hoch, CEO of ITA. "ITA is working to grow that number, encourage STEM programs and help connect Chicago companies to top tech talent through programs like the ITA Tech Challenge."

All of the Tech Challenge finalists were paired for interviews with sponsoring companies seeking interns and full-time employees. "The Tech Challenge is a blast. ITA is the best around at bringing the most driven university students in our area together with top-notch companies to create lasting professional relationships," said Jeremy Yates, Development Manager at CDK Global.

Congratulations to the 2014 ITA Tech Challenge Top 5:

1. Cannon Matthews, University of Chicago, $5,000 prize
2. Kevin Wang (two years in a row), University of Chicago, $2,000 prize
3. Nikolas Anderson, University of Chicago, $1,000 prize
4. Lu Wang, Illinois Institute of Technology, $500 prize
5. Frank Luan, University of Chicago, $500 prize

To view the full list of finalists, see photos from the Final Challenge and a get recap of the program, visit

This year's ITA Tech Challenge participating universities include:

  • Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Illinois State University
  • Northern Illinois University
  • Northwestern University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Michigan

ITA would like to thank all of this year's sponsors who helped make the program possible. The 2014 ITA Tech Challenge presenting sponsor CDK Global. Supporting sponsors include: Backstop Solutions, CDW, Cleversafe, Corptax, kCura, HERE and Trustwave. Participating sponsors include: Channel IQ,, Fieldglass, Lyons Consulting Group, Optiver and Spot Trading.

About the Illinois Technology Association
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is an enabling organization powering the growth of tech in Illinois. Through vibrant programs, services and strategic consulting, the ITA drives our dynamic industry by working to grow, build and elevate our members. For more information, visit, follow ITA on Twitter at, and view the ITA's Facebook profile at

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