On Thursday, 13 September 2012, twenty UK students competed against each other in a campus programming contest. The students, most of them CS majors, were each given six problems to solve individually within three and a half hours.
Of the six problems, which varied in difficulty, many participants solved more than half of them in the time allotted. Three participants solved all six problems and were awarded rankings based on the time it took them to complete the tasks. The top three participants were
First Place - Derek Fox
Second Place - Alex Williams
Third Place - Brad Elliott.
The winner Derek Fox reported that he had been practicing for this competition for over six week. "I tried to do one practice problem every day," Fox admitted. "Whether I actually solved it, though, is another matter."
Though some of the problems may seem purely academic, many of them have real-world CS applications. For example, one of this year's contest problems required the participant to work with prime numbers. When solving this problem competitors are also practicing an important component of cryptology, where large prime numbers are critical.
In addition to being a fun competition, this event also served as a try-out for UK's programming competition team. The first stage of team competition is the November 3rd Mid-Central Regional ACM Contest. The department is planning to send multiple teams to compete, and it should have no trouble filling the teams after seeing the performance of the individuals last week.
The CS Department and the ACM Students Chapter would like to congratulate everyone who participated in the contest on their interest in competitive programming, for their problem solving skills and for strong performance!