2000 LSU Computer Science High School Programming Contest
Contestant Rules





  1. Multiple problems will be posed in English (or something loosely approximating it). Solutions to these problems must be submitted in one of the following languages: Microsoft Visual C/C++ v5.0, Borland Pascal, Microsoft Visual Basic v5.0, or Microsoft QBasic (this may change based on circumstances during the contest).

  2. Problem solutions MUST be submitted according to our guidelines because they vary some across the languages and/or implementations. All submissions will include source code only. All programs will be written to do input and output to the standard devices. This is clarifed in the Language Specific Information document.

  3. Contestants may not bring the following items into the contest area:
    1. Any device capable of computing
      • Calculators that are NOT programmable (may have memory, basic math functions)
      • The contestants that are part of their team (maximum of three)
    2. Any machine readable or "live" documentation (ala your advisor :)
    3. Any documentation that disrupts other teams while it is being used

    Any items that the Contest Officials believe violate these rules will be confiscated until the end of the contest.

  4. Teams (or their members) MAY NOT discuss the problems with anyone other than their team members and Contest Officials.

  5. Teams (or their members) MAY NOT do anything to disrupt the contest or other teams.

  6. Teams (or their members) MAY NOT do anything to disrupt the computers and/or the judges.

  7. Teams (or their members) MAY NOT attempt to retrieve any information via the network other than the designated Contest Web Pages (No surfing the net).

  8. No attempts to discover the Judging Data and/or Judges Solutions will be tolerated.

  9. Any questions a Team has about a problem must be submitted to the Contest Judges via the Clarification Program (an icon on the desktop). The Contest Judges will review the question and will either do nothing or they will add the question and its answer to the problem's web page and then send a notification to each machine. To read the clarification(s), you will have to view the problem's web page (an icon will be on your desktop that will take you to the index of problems). Clarifications will NOT be distributed on paper.

  10. Problems are submitted for judging via the Problem Submission Program (an icon on the desktop). When the Contest Judge makes a decision, you will be sent a paper receipt indicating the result (KEEP THIS - it will be necessary in the case of any disputes). The Judge Slip will have the following possible results:
    • OK - Problem is correct
    • IS - Improper Submission (sent stuff other than required, hard-coded I/O)
    • CE - Compile Error (something went wrong before the program was run)
    • RT - Your program "failed/crashed" while being run
    • TL - Time Limit Exceeded (your program took more two minutes to complete)
    • IO - Incorrect Output (Program ran but did not produce output close enough to desired)

  11. Contest starting time, ending time, and/or duration may be altered by Contest Officials if necessary (if the Pizza is late or early).

  12. When the contest is over, teams must return to Coates Hall.

  13. No One may leave the contest area early unless an advisor comes to get them.

  14. You may be disqualified and/or have yur score reduced based on infractions of the rules.

    Figuring out Who Won

  • The winners will be determined based on how many problems you solve (The team that solves the most problems wins, second most gets second place, third most gets third place).

  • If there is a tie (two or more teams that solve the same number of problems), the team that solves their problem(s) in the least amount of time wins. This is done by summing up how long it took to solve each problem (based on when it was submitted to be judged, each incorrect submission will count as an extra 10 minutes).

  • If there is still a tie, the team with the fewest submissions will win.

  • If there is still a tie, the Contest Official(s) will continue to dynamically invent new criteria until we find one that breaks the tie.

Just Wanted You to Know

Two years we supplied computers and software for the first time. This had some real advantages for the contestants:

  • No borrowing of equipment
  • No transporting of equipment
  • No setup of equipment
  • No teardown of equipment
  • All teams on equal footing (from a speed/language/resource perspective)
  • No concerns of someone bringing a machine with extra code on it

It had a few disadvantages for the contestants:

  • You had to use unfamaliar machines
  • You had to use software that was different (or at least differently configured) from what you are used to
  • You only got to take your work home if you copied the code to a floppy

We believed that the advantages for the contestants far out-weighed the disadvantages. This contest is not about who can equip themselves with the best hardware/software/sample programs. This contest is about solving and coding problems in as fair and even of an i environment is possible. This year we have made some more changes to try to get closer to the ideal of a fair contest:

  • We are trying a network-based submission system for the second year.
    • This speeds up submissions
    • Frees up the contestants machine while judging occurs
    • Uses the same clock to record time (as opposed to the various judges watches in the past - we have hopefully corrected an unexpected problem with network time that occurred last year)
    • Provides complete copies of every submission with timestamp (assuming it works as planned)
    • Eliminates much of the variance in judging (in the past one judge did all the problems for a team, now - one judge will do all the submissions/clarifications for a single problem). We tried this last year and it helped a lot.
    • Makes clarifications more universal (everyone has an opportunity to read them at the same time)
    • Will make all clarifications available after the contest is over (problems are being updated with clarifications dynamically)
  • We are moving to network-based clarifications (ditto from above) We will print them out and distribute them this year - reading clarifiactions on the web took time from programming.
  • We have moved all (almost all) documents to html
    • All items can easily be made available for review at a later time (we can i simply move all the files to the contest web server and then you can access them)
    • Plans are to also include all contestant submissions in this web site (you can review what changes you made between submissions) We wer unable to work this out last year. In fact, posting last year's site fell through the cracks.

The changes we made last year were a big step forward. A few glitches happened that we hope to have straightened out this year. We believe this contest could be one of our best - we hope you feel the same way when it over.

If you have suggestions/comments/whatever, please send them to contest@contest.csc.lsu.edu.

The statements and opinions included in these pages are those of the LSU Computer Science High School Programming Contest Staff only. Any statements and opinions included in these pages are not those of Louisiana State University or the LSU Board of Supervisors.

© 2000 LSU Computer Science High School Programming Contest

This page last updated 2001/04/05 20:29:33.