Havests from ICPC

First time participating in ACM/ICPC, gaining lots of thoughts.

Posted by MewX on Oct 08, 2016

Today is my first time participating ACM/ICPC, which is really a cruel competition.

I turned out to know this competition when I was in junior hight school, and at that time I took part in the NOIP competition (National Olympics of Information Science for Province). I found there were too many talented people who learnt programming in a very early age. So, I didn’t get good grades because what I had learnt are all by myself.

When I was in undergraduate university, I asked the teachers at the beginning of the first semester. The teachers all told me that they could not find proper students to take part in that competition. So it had been too many years that my undergraduate uni didn’t had eligibility of taking part in this event. So I had been upset for 4 years.

Just out of my expectation, I found that my current uni had some teams for this competition at the beginning of this semester 1. And I really did a lot of reviews on algorithms when I prepared for the Entrance Examination of Postgraduate University of China, so I was very familiar with typical algorithms. That made me have the ability to compete with others. As well, thank Miguel and Farbod for accepting me as a team member!

So, in this competition (and also the previous practice competitions), we can solve a fair number of problem, but we are just too slow or have too much penalties. That’s a point of weakness.

However, I realise the importance of teamwork for thinking out a problem. Just take problem D as an example, it’s a gaming simulation problem and it’s obviously impossible to simulate that game.

  • My first idea is to do iteration for each moving spot, but that’s to slow to merge all the result;
  • Then Miguel tells me his idea, it’s quite a breakthrough to try new idea, but it’s still not fast enough;
  • Finally I use Miguel’s general idea, but because of the inspiration from others, I work out a faster solution which I believe is not easy to achieve by one person.

Basically, the reasons we failed are that we just did a bit slower for easy problems than other teams and we had a lot of penalties :(

However, I really learnt a lot from this team work which cannot easily be gained from other sort of teamwork.

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