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Coding race for balloons

Peking University, May 31, 2013: A rainbow of balloons were hung next to each group of two or three, who unanimously glued their eyes on the computer screen for an intense coding competition. The balloons of various colors, each corresponds to a problem, were transplanted from the Association of Computing Machinery — International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC) Asia Regional Programming Contest to its qualifier at Peking University (PKU).



A group of 3 contestants with no balloon — well, they have not yet solved any problem.


The twelfth ACM-ICPC Trial, with the main arena at PKU Computer Center and another at Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU), challenges students to solve real-world computer programming problems under a grueling, five-hour deadline.


The Trial on May 12, hosted jointly by PKU School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and the Computer Center, drew more attention than ever before. It included 897 competitors as 331 teams — from not only PKU and BJTU, but Tsinghua University, Beijing Normal University, and Beijing Institute of Technology.


As before, each team of up to three competitors huddled around a single computer, racing against the clock in a battle of logic, strategy and mental endurance. Teammates collaborated to rank the difficulty of the problems, assign the tasks, design programs, trying to solve the problems correctly in the shortest amount of time. The largest cluster of colorful balloons, like the yellow jersey of the Tour de France, clearly marked the provisional leaders in the hall.


The contest was a testing ground for these young engineers to learn about real live projects, as the world is entering into an era of smart systems. Being a multitier, team-based, programming competition, the trial aimed to make students team players, strategic leaders, and creative thinkers.


After two weeks of judging, the winner teams were awarded on May 26. Some stars will be enrolled into the PKU ACM-ICPC Summer Programming Practice this June, setting foot on the way through the regional contests of Beijing, China and Asia — towards the World Finals next year.



The first-prize winners


Written by: Jiang Zhaohui

Edited by: Arthars

Source: EECS