Aiming to make U.S. tops in computer programming

Former School of Mines President Dr. Dick Gowan.
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) Russian hackers are all over the new theses days and dominate discussions at the highest levels of government.

One Rapid City man wants to put an end to that.

Former School of Mines President Dr. Dick Gowan is heading the effort that is will bring more than 1,000 of the world's top collegiate computer programmers to Rapid City in May.

The International Computer Programming Competition is the Olympics of coding and one three-person team from the School of Mines has qualified.

But Gowan's ambition is larger. Russian students have dominated the competition for decades and he wants to make the U.S. competitive by reinventing the way coding is taught in this country.

“We will (our students) to come in and be the leading coders of the world,” said Gowan. “So that everyone knows we are the best competitors. And, frankly, we want the Russians to look around and say, "Wow, where did they come from?" We're going to show them.”

After the competition Gowan will continue his work with his organization known as Excellence in Computer Programming. The main goal is to get computer programming introduced to students in grade school.