2012 WPI High School Programming ContestThe WPI Computer Science department hosted the seventh annual High School Programming contest on an crisp Spring day in Worcester, Massachusetts. Forty teams from twenty-six school districts registered for the event, representing the most number of teams and students ever to participate in the contest. The teams primarily came from school districts from central Massachusetts, although some teams made the trip to WPI from Connecticut and New Hampshire.
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Because of the increased number of students, the four-hour contest was held in three computing laboratories on campus (two in Kaven Hall and one in Salisbury Hall) and the judging "Command Center" was in KH 116 where team advisors watched the contest unfold in real time as each student submission was judged by the contest judge. Each student team had a single computer on which to work, and so they had to manage their time (and typing ability!) efficiently to be able to place well in the contest. The problems tested the programming ability of the students in different areas, such as financial computation, permutations, graph series, symbolic evaluation and string compression. The contest was supported by an on-line submission system that allowed all participants to view the ongoing results of the competition in real-time. The problem set contained 9 problems of varying levels of difficulty, and students had to manage their time carefully as well as the number of their submissions; each failed submission received a small time penalty applicable towards the team score.
The final results of the contest appear in the following table:
The Computer Science department would like to thank Mark Freitas (a member
of the CS department's
advisory board) for underwriting the costs of the contest, which
allowed all students to participate for free and enabled us to give the
students and advisors a set of trophies and certificates to mark their
attendance in the contest. We would like to thank the student volunteers
who helped ensure a smooth running contest:
Contest ProgressAll submissions were graded electronically using custom contest software developed by Prof. George Heineman at WPI. All students were assigned to their respective stations in the computer labs in Kaven Hall and the contest began just after 9:13 AM. The first submission was completed after 720 seconds and during the first hour there was a flurry of activity as the judge tried to keep up with the submissions from the students. The first hiccup came when the first team to code in C++ submitted their solution. It turned out that there was an unexpected access problem to core C++ libraries and the judge had to call on system administrators Michael Voorhis and Jesse Banning to rapidly update some key Unix directories; fortunately within minutes the problem was solved.
Because of the scoring used for the contest, it is not sufficient to simply solve all problems first, one must compute the accumulated scores of the times it took to solve each individual problem. Because of this, positions on the “leader board” for the contest were up for grabs. In particular, there were two problems (P2 and P3) that were considered to be the most complex in the contest -- whoever could complete these problems would -- likely be the winner. As it turns out, two teams vied for the competitive top-spot, and ultimately the winner was the team who had rapidly submitted solutions to the easiest problems in he contest. By the end of the contest, two teams had solved nine problems while a third was able to complete eight. These were certainly notable achievements!There were a total of 114 successful problem submissions (from a total possible 358 submissions). The y-axis below shows the number of problems solved by each team, which appears as ever-increasing lines on the graph. The x-axis shows the progress of the contest in seconds.
Penny Lane Rinse. Lather. Repeat A Cold Compress Cures Everything Triple Play Anything you can do, I can do better A Consummation Devoutly To Be Wished A Subset By Any Other Name When Daylight Turns to Knight A Shadow moves across the moon
Rinse. Lather. Repeat
A Cold Compress Cures Everything
Anything you can do, I can do better
A Consummation Devoutly To Be Wished
A Subset By Any Other Name
When Daylight Turns to Knight
A Shadow moves across the moon
webmaster at cs wpi edu / 06 March 2012