[ProgSoc] Call for problem writers for UTS Programming Competition 2014

Tomislav Bozic tomchristmas at progsoc.org
Fri Dec 27 20:06:44 EST 2013

Hi there ProgSoc members! (and other mailing list subscribers and archive

2013 was quite a successful year for ProgSoc and programming competitions.
We hosted three contests, including the UTS contest and the Code-a-thon,
and participated in nine contests, including the International
Collegiate (ICPC) contest, where UTS came 7th out of 88 university teams in
the regional qualifiers.

In 2014, we're doing it all again. And we're doing it BIGGER, better,

And we need your help.

We are looking for people to WRITE PROBLEMS for the 2014 edition
of the UTS PROGRAMMING COMPETITION which will take place in early March.

For our first (2012) and second (2013) contests, there were EIGHT
questions in total and the contestants had four hours in which to complete

This year will be slightly different. The contest will still run for
four hours. But the stakes are higher. The prizes will be larger.

Accordingly, in 2014, we will be looking not for eight, but for
SIXTEEN (16) NEW and ORIGINAL questions (roughly eight 'easy' problems,
and eight 'hard' problems).

Ideally enough people will volunteer so that each person need only write
one problem, but if you want to write more than one, go nuts.

If we somehow end up with a surplus of problems,
that's perfectly fine, we can re-use them for future contests (and besides,
the more questions we have to choose from, the better the contest will be).

To guide potential problem writers with the type of problems that can be
posed and the format in which they will take, here are some problem sets from
previous contests:



Basically, we are after:

1. A problem description/definition.

2. Sample input for testing, and the corresponding test output; typically
short, straightforward instances of the problem, to help guide the problem
solver. These will be seen by the contestants.

3. Actual test input and the corresponding output for judging,
(typically longer instances of the problem, often containing corner
cases) in separate text files. These files are used by our adjudication
software (DOMJudge) to test contestants' solutions and will not be
seen by contestants before or during the contest.

4. A working solution in C, C++ or Java, as a proof-of-concept and to assist
with working out typical run times for contestants' own solutions to your
problem. Your solution can also be used to assist with generating test data.

Take a look at some more past problems from the ACM ICPC (which, by and
large, our contest will emulate) for more inspiration, as well as
to learn how to format your test data:


The problems must be ORIGINAL, in the sense that entrants will not be
able to find the problem and solution using Google. Ideally they will
be truly original, but twists on existing problems are perfectly
acceptable. For example, many competition problems can be reduced to
minor variations of the travelling salesman or bin packing problems or
any classic problem in the computer science literature.

Note that if you contribute a problem to the contest and it ends up being
used, you are unable to participate as a contestant, although you are
more than welcome to (and, in fact, you should if possible) assist with
the judging of the contest.

Please email me personally if you can contribute (either with a complete
problem, or just an idea), or if you want more information on the contest.


Officer of Competitions

To judiciously use split infinitives is fine by me...

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