A little late to be blogging about this, but since I blogged about last year’s regionals, I better do it this year too.
Also because we [Hrushi, Kshitij and myself, team SilasticArmorfiends] qualified for the world finals in Canada!
This year, the regionals were held at Amritapuri, near Kayankulam in Kerala. Home sweet home… Kerala never looked better.
There were lots of improvements in organization, as compared to last two years at Coimbatore. The only downside was food, which was not too impressive. In everything else they did a great job. Rooms were great, and the organizers were very friendly. (It also helped to have friends around there.. Divya and Indu, batchmates from Chinmaya). They also arranged a boatride for the contestants (with some great tapioca chips!), which was really enjoyable.
And great girls!
And coming to the actual contest… contest ran smoothly. No issues.
Ok, there was this little issue during the practice contest, where the error output by Mooshak interface was little too verbose. It wasn’t very hard for us to write java code which throws up the entire input file to us — yeah, you read it right, we could read all the actual testdata. We talked to Prof. Nandakumar and Prasanna, and they rectified it. They put an announcement later saying something to the effect: “Error messages were turned on on purpose, and will not be available for the finals.” Sometimes, we _do_ want credit for things like these. :D
The finals went on smooothly, no hiccups. Just one error in one of the problems, which was soon fixed. The problem set itself was pretty good, although about six of the eight problems were more coding oriented.
Now for our performance: Here we really have to thank Prasanna. During an introductory student talk two days before the contest, he described strategies for ICPC. He said that it is helpful for one person to watch what the person at the keyboard is typing. Hrushi did most of the coding, he’s amazing with his coding speed! I think by one person looking on, we achieved the following: 1) Neater code at places. 2) Much fewer bugs. 3) Two people knew the code, so for example when we needed to debug by printing out, I could do the debugging with Hrushi still at the terminal.
So that was more or less the strategy we followed, and the teamwork was pretty amazing there.
We were the only team in the top to make a submission in the last half hour, which didn’t change our ranking, but still gave a larger margin or two problems with the next team. We came a very close second to Colourful_Bee from National Taiwan University, the difference being just around half an hour perhaps (since we submitted in the last half an hour we don’t know the exact times)
Since we placed second, we weren’t sure whether we were going to make it to the finals. The suspense was killing us. There were the possibilities of a wildcard, and also the possibility that Colourful_Bee can’t participate, since there was already a qualified team from the same university. Eventually both happened. We’re in. Canada! Here we come!
And now to practice for the world finals. [New Year Resolution no. 3]
Other known blogs
http://anushar.wordpress.com/2007/12/30/icpc-amritapuri/ (A girl who codes! Awesome!) and http://blogvijay.wordpress.com/2007/12/30/icpc-007-b/