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IrlCPC Frequently Asked Questions

Who sets the questions for the competition?
The competition is modelled on the ACM International Collegiate Programming Competition. The UCC ACM Student Chapter sets the problem set and a suitably impartial expert will verify the suitability of the questions.

What is the difficulty level for the questions?
The difficulty level of the questions will be similar to that of an ACM ICPC regional competition. The initial problems will be easy and each subsequent problem will increase in difficulty. No team is excepted to be able to solve every problem in the allocated time.

What languages are allowed?
Teams may choose to use Python, C, C++, Java and C# during the competition.

How is a submission corrected?
Your program should read its input from stdin and print its answer to stdout. The format for the input and output will be specified in each of the problem descriptions.

Your program will be automatically corrected against a number of test cases. Your output should follow the output format defined in the question exactly. You will receive a point for each output that is correct.

Are there time and/or space constraints?
Typically, programs are limited to 10 seconds wall clock time. Individual problems which have specific constraints may have a different time specified with the question. It is difficult to impose a time limit on the execution of the program when dealing with multiple languages whose run time may vary significantly. It would be handicapping some of the languages if we imposed a small time limit like 1 or 2 seconds. All solutions to the problems should be solvable by an efficient algorithm in 1 or 2 seconds even in an interpreted language like python. Also, while teams will firstly be scored on the correctness of their solutions, efficiency may be used as a tiebreaker.

Where can I get sample questions?
Past problem sets are available at the bottom of the IrlCPC page. The problems for this years contest will be of a similar nature. For more sample questions please see the ICPCWiki Problems

What libraries can be used in answering the questions?
You may use only the standard library of your chosen language. We will try to ensure that the questions do not give any language an unfair advantage due to differing features in their standard libraries. Note that since all the correcting is done on a Linux machine, C# is supported via the Mono C# compiler. So C# submissions are limited to the standard library functionality provided by Mono.

What operating systems are available during the contest?
Teams will share one machine which will be bootable to Kubuntu or Windows, which must be chosen at registration time.

What IDEs will be provided for the contest?
At a minimum we will provide Visual Studio, Eclipse. Standard text editors and compilers will be available also.

Can you submit solutions to problems in different languages?
Yes each submission may be answered in different languages. You may also submit multiple solutions in different languages. Only the most recent one will be used for grading.

Are we allowed bring in crib sheets or notes?
No, in the interest of fairness to all contestants crib sheets or notes are not allowed. We will however provide very basic example to everyone which demonstrate very basic steps like reading from stdin in each of the languages.

Are contestants allowed to talk to their Coach during the competition?
Coaches may assist their teams during the practice session in the morning but not during the main competition.

What is the role of the coach in the competition?

  1. A representative of the sponsoring institution of higher education, typically a faculty member, must serve as or designate the team coach. The coach certifies the eligibility of contestants and serves as the official point-of-contact with the team prior to and during contest activities.
  2. The coach must ensure that their team has registered and is listed on the registration page by the registration date.
  3. Coaches can provide help during the morning practice session but there is no requirement for the coached to be in attendance on the day of the competition.

Is there a limit to how many times I can compete in the competition?
There is no limit to how many years you may enter the competition.

More question and answers will be added whenever we are asked something, so if you have any questions that are not answered on the FAQ, please let us know by emailing csacm@cs.ucc.ie