Students Recognized for Use of COBOL

July 28, 2000

NEWS BRIEFS

Santa Clara, CA — MERANT, a leading global e-business software solutions company, announced at the Syllabus 2000 Conference the winners of this year’s Admiral Grace Murray Hopper Student Programming Competition, or GRACIE Competition. This competition recognizes students that creatively used COBOL (COmmon Business Oriented Language) in real-world scenarios to solve application development challenges. Winners were selected by an independent panel of academic judges in computer science and included student and faculty advisors from Auburn University Montgomery, Butler County Community College (Pa.) and Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Student winners were each awarded a cash prize of $1,000 and the sponsoring academic institutions receives a choice of computer hardware.

This year’s GRACIE’s were divided into two categories, one for Net Express University Edition, a Web-based COBOL development tool designed for the academic community and Personal Cobol, a traditional COBOL development tool for academia. Both of these MERANT products support e-business software solutions for organizations leveraging mainframe-computing assets as they integrate interactive, Web-based systems.

Net Express University winners included:

– From Auburn University Montgomery, Wesley M. Brand of Prattville, Ala. and Michael A. Todd of Montgomery, Ala. Both students are seniors completing their degrees in information systems and were advised by Dr. Ava Honan, assistant professor of information systems. Their winning entry was an application designed to permit an organization to have its potential membership join via the Web. The application also allows tracking of organization members varying schedules.

– From Butler County Community College, Joan D. Hutzley was recognized for her program for a fictional bath and tea products company desiring to extend its business to the Web. The software developed allows the end user to place an order, enroll in seminars and subscribe to an electronic newsletter all via the Web. Ms. Hutzley, of Butler, Pa. is working on her associate’s degree in computer information systems and was advised by Azad Ali, assistant professor of business.

Personal COBOL winners all were from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and included:

– Gary DeReese, from Alice, Texas and Ronnie Ries, from Kingsville, Texas were recognized for their development of a database manager to track, automate and organize the most common tasks of members of a social fraternity, including member reports and records.

– James Desola, from Robestown, Texas and Melanie Girndt, from Kingsville, Texas for their application designed for a radio station to document contest winners, track prize inventory and create managerial reports. All four winning students are junior computer information systems (CIS) majors. Dr. Mohan Rao, associate professor of CIS advised both of these winning teams.

“MERANT is once again proud to sponsor this year’s GRACIE Competition,” said Dr. Tony Hill, senior vice president and general manager of MERANT. “We are committed to supporting information systems education. The innovative work of these students is a credit to each one of them personally and their respective institutions.”

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper was a professor of mathematics at Vassar College when the U.S. Navy recruited her in 1943 to work on the first computer in the United States, the Mark 1, at Harvard University. During the course of her work, Admiral Hopper created and standardized many key technical developments – most notably COBOL – the business programming language used from the earliest computer to the newest microchip. This year celebrates the 40th anniversary of the development of COBOL.

MERANT is a leading global e-business software solutions company. Founded in 1976, MERANT has more $360 million in annual revenues, 2,000 employees and 500 technology partners. More than 5 million professionals use MERANT technology solutions at 35,000 customer sites, including the entire Fortune 100, the majority of the Global 500 and over 400 leading dotcoms. For additional information, visit http://www.merant.com .

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