Friday, August 17, 2007

IOI Competition Day 1

The first day of competition is over and apart from a few small hiccups all went well. This is my first time on the leader side of things and I'm quite surprised at the number of meetings we attend, but in a good way. I feel it's excellent that we can all easily have our say, unlike the ACM ICPC where we only have two brief meetings which are often dominated by a few individuals.

It started yesterday with the practice session for which the contestants had two hours to get themselves used to the contest environment and grading system. A couple pictures of our team during this session:

After the practice session, we took seats for the opening ceremony. They had a Croatian quire sing for us, which was beautiful. The speaches were boring as always. The fun part was when they went through the teams and two of our guys blew vuvuzelas, which excited the crowd. They were even interviewed about these strange "horns" as they refer to them in the newsletter.

As team leaders, we received the problems last night. You can grad a copy of them along with the test data here. We spent some time going over the problems and picking out any ambiguities or the likes and trying to get them changed. While checking the problems we also attempted to solve them. We got Aliens pretty quickly. Flood we discussed a bit and although we never quite got a full solution, we got the bits and pieces.

Kim from the Netherlands showing his boredom with the translation:

Not attempting to code the problems makes you a little slack I feel. With Sails on the other hand, we discussed numerous solutions, while all of them were either incorrect for special cases or too inefficient.

There weren't many serious changes that needed to be made, although it still took us to midnight before the English texts were finalised. We were then allowed to sign off, while the others remained to translate into their primary language for their students. We were lucky being English speaking as some teams stayed till after 3am! While waiting for the final version we chatted mostly with the other English speaking teams - Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, UK, US, etc.

This morning we wake up and go out to breakfast and we see a large group of contestants waiting for the buses. They were supposed to be separated from us after we were shown the problems. Obviously there were some problems and a lack of guard resulted in what could have turned into a serious matter. Some leaders were even told to walk through the crowd of students!

After we finished breakfast, the students were set to start at 08:30. A short while later we went to the IOI Conference - a first attempt at hearing the various countries experiences in their national olympiads. It was a reasonable success in my opinion, although the poor English of some speakers made it to some extent difficult to follow. There were some interesting issues and solutions that were brought up, some of which we might even consider taking into account when working on evolving our own event.

After the conference we waited for the contestants to return in the buses. They seemed very excited they saw us, discussing with us how they tackled the problems. Still none of them had a full solution to Sails, which made me wonder about the difficulty of the problem. After lunch we got the scores - less than two hours after the competition ended. The results were scattered, with two double and two triple digit scores. The top score was 120 and from discussing with some of the other teams there appears to be many high scores for today. There's an unofficial summary of some of the results here, which puts at least five teams on a full score of 300! I later found out that own very own Bruce Merry also got the max in the online contest.

We had a discussion about the problems and the competition. There were a few issues that the team brought up, some of which were mentioned by others at the following GA meeting. We let the other issues go as they were relatively minor.

All in all, a good day of competition. Hopefully the guys can pick up the pace on Sunday for the second and final competition day. Good luck guys!

No comments:

Post a Comment