Oh right, the contest

I mentioned the ACM programming contest that I competed in on Saturday. The team was made up of Jude Allred, Paul Steinbrecker and me, on a team quite creatively named “University of Colorado Team 3″. The competition took 5 hours, and our task was to solve 7 difficult algorithmic problems.

Assuming that only the best programmers competed in the contest, that the contest actually measures programming ability, and that all programmers live in Colorado, we are the best programmers in the world. If you instead assume that all programmers live in North America in Colorado’s time zone, then we are only the 4th best programmers in the world. If you remove either of the previous two assumptions (but why would you want to do that?) then I have no idea.

For record keeping, since this is decent resume material, there were 12 competitors in the state and 45 in the region (time zone). We solved 5 problems (the three who beat us in the region all had solved 6, and everybody below us solved at most 4). We programmed all the entries in C++. If I have any advice for future competitors it is this: Know Dijkstra’s Algorithm. I think there were three problems which essentially reduced to that.

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