University of Houston's
The ACM Programming Contest is an annual set of competitions. ACM members compete in regional contests, and the top winners go on to the world finals. In each contest, teams are given five hours to solve a set of interesting problems (there are about six problems). The solutions take on the form of programs, written in C/C++, Pascal, or Java. Teams are composed of one to three members, and each team is allowed only one computer.
The 2000 ACM South Central Region competition was held at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Check-in occurred on Friday, November 10, and the contest and banquet were held on Saturday, November 11.
Visit the LSU contest web site
for more information about this year's contest. Visit the
ACM contest web site for
more information on the general ACM contest.
Houston Eulers (HE)
Universal Hackers (UH)
The contest wasn't run as well as the prior years, and both teams struggled for hours on what should have been the easiest problem because the judges were using a bad input file.
Mike was able to solve the Election problem for the Houston Eulers (Mike, George, and B.J.), which placed them in 39th place. The "Universal Hackers" (Irfan, Khalid, and Guillermo) came in at 56th place upon finally solving the Sebastian problem even though the judges tested it with improper input.
There were 69 teams at the contest.
We had a lot of fun in Louisiana.
The six guys met at UH Friday morning at 11 am. Our departure was delayed due to the first of many technical difficulties: Mike locked his car keys in the trunk! After finally resolving this problem, B.J. obtained AA batteries for use with Mike's walkie-talkie CB radios, but despite having fresh batteries, we were unable to communicate with the CB's during the drive.
We finally left the Houston area shortly after 1 pm. We arrived in Baton Rouge around 6 pm--just in time to check into the hotel and then make an all-terrain mad-rush U-turning horn-honking drive to the campus. The driving frenzy was required to make to the traditional all-you-can-eat pizza dinner (with ice cream).
After the wonderful pizza, Special Agent Will Hatcher from the FBI's New Orleans office gave a talk on computer security. We saw a nice mug-shot of Bill Gates taken after one of his youthful-indiscretions in his teen years. The FBI guy was kind enough to hang around during the entire contest. He even was nice enough to suggest which DDOS software the FBI recommends. :-)
Saturday morning, we all woke up early and went to eat at Dennys. The practice contest went
without a hitch. The actual contest started only one hour later than planned. However, there
were actually two official "starts". The first start had to be aborted when the contest director
discovered that none of the teams had been given the problem packets.
Click on any picture to enlarge it.
Thanks goes to B.J. and his wife Claudia (a/k/a Alberta Chengkov) for taking these pictures.
|The whole gang
Left to right: B.J., Guillermo, Khalid, Mike, George, Irfan.
Left to right: George, B.J., Mike
Left to right: Khalid, Irfan, Guillermo
|The team having breakfast at Dennys|
|Breakfast, from another angle|
|Mike hacking away at the 'Election' problem|
|Mike dressing up as a homeless college student|
|George hitting the Discrete Math books a little too hard|
|A room full of the smartest computer nerds from three states|
|"Fox Mulder" giving a talk on computer security|
|Some of the gang unloading the gear from B.J.'s car|
|Charles E. Coates Hall, one of the buildings used for the contest|
|LSU has a very nice lake on its campus|
|LSU Union building where the reception was held|
|Ed's reaction after seeing the hotel bill|