Sunday, May 25, 2008

Internet Problem Solving Contest

The 10th Internet Problem Solving Contest (IPSC) took place yesterday afternoon. This is the third year I've participated in and it always proves to be a great contest with some original problems. This year was no different!

I got several teams together at the University of Cape Town and we gathered in a lab together for the contest. We had ten teams participate in the lab and a few doing it from other locations. As Bruce was taking part, no-one stood any chance to pass him as the top South African team. Unfortunately for us though, things were looking worse as he managed to team up with Paul Jeffreys who won the IOI the year I took part!

It was still lots of fun, nonetheless, and I must say I was rather impressed with the team that beat us by four points. Yes my two team members did leave an hour early, but they were ahead of us long before. The final standings for our local teams is available here:

There was one unsolved problem, which was really insane. It asked you to determine the expected cost of the minimum spanning tree given that the edge weights were uniform random variables each with their own lower- and upper-bounds. Solutions to the problems are available here.

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