The teams from Johannes Gutenberg University participated in the German Collegiate Programming Contest (GCPC 2015). Team D3PO (pictured) earned an excellent ninth place and was the only team (of 62) to correctly solve the Bounty Hunter problem. Some students consider competing in the Northwestern European Programming Contest (NWERC 2015) as well, which will be held in November in Linköping, Sweden.
The Training Sessions
In the "Approaching Programming Contests" practical, students can tackle interesting problems that could be or have been part of a programming contest. It aims at students who have completed introductory courses such as "Introduction to Programming" and "Data Structures and Efficient Algorithms". While the focus in the latter lies on the asymptotic runtime analysis of algorithms, students have to consider practical aspects in the APC sessions: An efficient algorithm may be more difficult to implement, and its merits could become significant only for problem sizes that are far beyond the task's requirements. However, often a naive algorithm is too slow for the given time limit.
Typical tasks include finding shortest paths in networks, counting the number of possible solutions to a problem, geometrical computations, and fast multiplication/factorization.
In the German Collegiate Programming Contest (GCPC) on June 20th, 62 student teams from nine German universities competed in a five-hour contest which consisted of eleven problems. The participants wrote their program code at the home institution and submitted it to a server, which was provided by Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg. The server then tested the programs with input data and reported whether all solutions were correct and the time limit was not exceeded. The teams could see the overall rankings during the contest except for the last hour, which put further pressure on them. The problem set can be found at the GCPC 2015 site.
The best team from Mainz was D3PO, which featured two GCPC veterans, Daniel Franzen and David Auer (who came 12th place last year out of 64), and APC participant Daniel Strecker. They earned place nine out of 62 and solved the Bounty Hunter problem, which no other team was able to do.
The other three teams were We <3 🙁 (39), TaqMen (46), and BrainNotFoundException (57), who all competed for the first time.
Some students expressed interest in participating in the Northwestern European Programming Contest (NWERC), which will be held November 28-29th, 2015 in Linköping, Sweden. Students interested in APC practicals and programming contests can contact Markus Blumenstock for further information.
Special thanks go to Domenico Mosca for help with the local organization, Tobias Werth from FAU Erlangen for organizing the GCPC, and judge Egor Dranischnikow, who set one of the eleven tasks and checked the submissions.