A contest in which programmers from around the world get together and compete to see who can churn out accurate code at the fastest rate. The format for the contest is simple.

Each team consists of three people and one computer. This leads to an important issue of teamwork: makeing the most of the time in front of the computer.

The contest lasts five hours. At the beginning of the contest, all teams recieve identical copies of a set of six problems. These problems can be solved in any order. At the moment, only Java, C/C++, and Pascal can be used to solve tho problems. In the past, Assembly have Scheme have been allowed.

When a problem is completed, the team turns it into the judges. The judges mark down the time at which the problem was turned in. If the solution is correct, based on their tests, the problem is considered solved and the team gets a point. If there is a tie between two teams, the judges add up the times that each team turned *correct* problems in. If an incorrect problem is turned in and later solved correctly, the final time it was turned in is the one used, plus a penalty of twenty or thirty minutes for each erroneous entry.

The top two teams from each regional contest in the fall go to the world contest in the spring.

Just for the record, here are some stats for the contest in 2000:

mshumphr understates his achievement by failing to mention that the regional competitions are difficult in and of themselves, so making it to the finals is an accomplishment in itself.

Waterloo seems to frequently place in the top 10. They're very cool.

imago has gotten a lot out of the competitions, having been to 3 of them (two as a contestant; one as a coach). So I feel pretty strongly on the subject. Especially since I got to go to the Netherlands last year on the University's dime. For the record, the team I was in did OK (in 1993 and 1994), but the team I coached took 6th place. They rock.

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