Thursday, July 12, 2007

Upcoming: ICFP Contest 2007

It's that time of the year again. Time for the ICFP Contest. Last year Carnegie Mellon set an amazing problem where a 1.8MB file ran on virtual machines we had to write and self-extracted another 15MB source file. The new file ran on the same virtual machine and yielded a mini Linux kernel with user accounts you had to hack into to retrieve the problems to solve. Everything - the problems, compilers, evaluators - came out of that tiny 1.8MB file.

This year our team returns to the scene. This time strengthened with some stronger team members. And the hope that our network will be running for more than 50% of the time. Our team is 100% from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. Two of our members will be joining in from California though, but still from UCT nonetheless. Our team in alphabetical order to reduce favouritism:

  1. Richard Baxter
  2. Charles Bradshaw
  3. Jason Brownbridge
  4. Christopher de Kadt
  5. Carl Hultquist
  6. Marco Gallotta
  7. James Gray
  8. Alexander Karpul
  9. Julian Kenwood
  10. Bertus Labuschagne
  11. Kosta Masalov
  12. Bruce Merry
  13. Max Rabkin
  14. James Saunders
  15. Andre Scholtz
  16. Ben Steenhuisen
  17. Harry Wiggins
The first thing you will probably notice is that our team is rather large. One of the nice things about this contest is the unlimited team size. We thought we'd try take advantage of that this year. It will be interesting to see if the advantage of more brains overcomes the disadvantage of managing a large team over such a short time. To reduce the management tasks the team has to worry about we have two dedicated managers - Hayley McIntosh and Ian Saunder.

The only thing that changes this year is it is organised by Utrecht University and of course the problem will be different. It runs from Friday 20 to Monday 23 July (72 hours). One of the teams put together a countdown, as well as one for the more geeky.

Here's hoping the United Coding Team whips many teams this year!

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