Hard to forget

Wow...you know before how I was talking about waiting for something BIG to happen? Well, i think it just did.
You see, uni mid-semester break just started. But no, it's better than that :)
On the friday, the first episode of the new survivor series started, and I played the first game of indoor for three weeks. Depsite the loss, was great to get back and survivor should be interetsing... But no, it's better than that :)
On saturday, Adelaide Uni hosted the state-wide final for the ACM-ICPC, a world-wide university programming competition where teams of 3 from all over the world compete. For this stage, it's just teams from Oz and New Zealand - about 100 in total. It's a 9-question, 5 hour competition, so from 11:30 til 4:30 on saturday i was programming for 5 hours straight, while supplied with free pizza and drink for lunch. But no, it's better than that :)
My team was me, another first year, and a second year student, so pretty young overall. We'd all gone through olympiad training, so knew we would be able to do better than average, but being a team of 18 year-olds against teams up to 4th or even 5th year, we weren't expecting much. During the comp though, we managed to finish the first three questions rather quickly, and then somehow I was able to write up code which compiled first time, ran properly, and was successfully submitted, all within 8 minutes, and i still have no idea how :S
Oh, and we got free shirts...But no, it's better than that :)
But it was a good time to do it, and i was even happier when i saw that another question was about solving sudoku boards. As luck would have it, someone had asked me to do the same thing a few weeks ago, so I was able to recode the algorithm i had already done, and I ended up getting that solution working too :)
The region-wide leaderboard stopped updating with 1hr to go, and at that stage we were somehow 2nd, with 5 problems solved rather quickly, just behind the Auckland team, and were leading the SA teams by 2 questions. We were pretty close to finishing two more questions, but unfortunately were unable to debug in time, so our score after 5hrs was the same as after 4. It turned out that no other team from SA submitted more than 3 questions though, so we ended up coming 1st in SA, thereby making sure Adelaide Uni keeps the perpetual 'trophy', which is actually a "golden ukulele". But no, it's better than that :)
Later that night, the provisional results from all sites were put up here. We're team 'KQ' from adelaide. As you can see, noone except the team (CIA) from Auckland (AK) solved more than 5 questions, so our score has us in provisional 2nd, much better than we'd ever dreamed of coming...and possibly ending UNSW's 5-year run of coming top of Australia :p....But no, it's better than that :)
This was the 'South Pacific Regional' competition, and from this, the top NZ and Oz teams get to go to the World ACM-ICPC finals!!! So, if there are no glitches and the provisional results turn out to be the actual results, then early april next year my team will get to go to Texas for a week to compete on the world stage!!
As you can guess, my head has been buzzing since saturday, and i probably won't calm down for a few days yet. Also, there are many bad stories from ACMs in terms of bad problem statements or test data causing results to change unexpectedly, so I'm not counting my chickens, it's just nice to be up so high in 1st year, and to think we still have at least 2 more years of this :)
If I get any more updated info, i'll probably post it here. Oh, and now holidays have started, I'll be taking a look at the PatFute code, so hopefully the memory leak will be fixed and i can give out a safe version to those interested :D


  1. nice work Padster!!!!

    hope there are no glitches in the reults so you can stay up there in the clouds!!!
    awesome stuff!!!!


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