The ACM competition

Judging the 2003 ACM ICPC Manila regionals was tons of fun. Although I
was somewhat delinquent in terms of making problems – I’d only made
one which was simplified due to contest limitations – my problem was
nonetheless included and a few teams actually solved it.

It was a straightforward problem – a text-based database. Helpful
teacher that I was, I made several test cases that checked for
specific errors in program logic, but had to merge them into one
enormous test case for the contest. Coded the solution in 10 to 15
minutes and submitted it via PC^2 for testing. Very glad to see it
work on the first run.

Had some tussles with PC^2 and compiler support. Jerome knew the magic
cmd trick, though, so we managed to get all the compilers to work.

Glad to see the other people from the SEARCC contests. Seemed like
nothing had changed. Mike still crazy-funny self. Chipi still somewhat
insane (but very good). Mars (Gabutz) somewhat less insane (no more
Wendy’s action figures? awww).

Story: It was an hour or so before the contest and Ces still didn’t
have judges’ test data for her problem. General panic. We quickly
prepared 10 copies of a 10×10 matrix for her 3-D problem and started
filling in letters. We finished the test data but weren’t quite sure
if it worked, so I sat down and quickly wrote a solution. Actual
output and expected output differed. Inclined to trust program, so
copied actual output into sample output for initial testing and then
spent some time debugging the test data. (Debugging the test data!
Pfft.) Eventually worked. Felt very pleased when other people solved
the problem, as that confirmed that test data was now correct.

Rejoiced when a team finally solved my problem. Had been on pins and
needles previously as had thought my problem ridiculously easy, thus
lack of attempted solutions was most worrisome. A number of teams
didn’t test with sample output given in problem, tsk tsk.

Went bowling with Dominique, Chipi, Mike, Jerome, and Mars. Non-zero
score. Very happy.

Ateneo still top-ranked Philippine team. Yay. =) Also, they beat more
foreign teams than last year. 5th place, big improvement.

Must work on consistency, though. Last team freaked out and did not
solve any.

  • Finch

    Ohhh, the 2003 ACM ICPC! I was here (one of the participants)! Just browsing your old posts… :)