Heritage Computer Science Team Places First at State

Heritage First Place Computer Science TeamCongratulations to the Heritage High School computer science team that dominated the 5A UIL Computer Science competition and earned first place at the state competition in Austin. 

Juniors Pulkith Paruchuri, Shreyas Pattabi and Ricky Katla took the team 5A championship along with Heritage’s Computer Science Club chapter president Dylan Smith. Additionally, Smith placed first and Paruchuri placed third in the individual written competition.

The UIL Computer Science contest is a competition that challenges students to apply programming language, concepts and skills. The contest is also an opportunity for students to expand their knowledge of computer science beyond the classroom and to foster their interest in the field.

In preparation for the contest, students study a broad range of areas in computer science as they prepare for both an individual and team component. The Computer Science competition consists of a 45-minute written exam for both components, along with a two-hour programming contest for teams.

Senior Dylan Smith has been on the computer science team since his freshman year when the team went to state and placed second. In his sophomore year, the competition was canceled due to the pandemic and the competition went virtual during his junior year.

“I’m thankful that we finally got to compete in person this year,” Smith said. “Competitive programming is fun and I’m thankful to Ms. Peterson who has been able to guide us in preparing for every level of competition. 

“My only wish is that I had started learning how to program and compete at an earlier age.”

Frisco ISD recently expanded middle school technology elective offerings to meet the interests of students. Starting in the 2021-22 school year, seventh and eighth grade students began taking introductory computer science classes to learn foundational concepts and skills of computer science and what it means to be creators rather than consumers of technology. Learn more.

Christine Peterson is the Career and Technical Education Center’s computer science teacher. She helped the Heritage computer science team and teaches students from across Frisco ISD.

“Frisco ISD has a top-notch computer science program and I am thrilled to see students find state-wide success,” Peterson said. “It’s a very difficult contest!”

Smith is headed to the University of Texas at Austin as a Turing Scholar this fall where he will major in computer science. He’s proud of the legacy that he is leaving behind at Heritage.

“I’m certain that my teammates who will be seniors next year will go far in the next series of UIL contests,” Smith said. “I’m also excited that FISD is expanding computer science courses for younger students.

“I would expect big things from those students in the UIL Computer Science contest in the future!”

On a Related Note

It’s been a great year for computer science in Frisco ISD. Earlier this year, Liberty and Lone Star high schools were recipients of the AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding young women’s access to AP Computer Science Principles. Congratulations to all of the teachers who continually strive to expand upon the passions of students around the District.

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