South Pacific Programming Contests

2011 Regional Contest Report


The 2011 ACM South Pacific Programming Contest sponsored by IBM was held on Saturday 10th September at 9 sites across Australia and New Zealand. 79 teams competed for the chance to represent their country in Warsaw, Poland next year.We continue to appreciate the sponsorship of IBM who provide t-shirts and gifts to the teams, and the support of ACM who make the event possible.<

See our Regional Contest Summary for the top 10.

From Raewyn Boersen, ACM South Pacific Regional Director

From Hossam Elgindy, Chief Judge

The South Pacific Programming Contest had 11 problems this year.

The problems spanned a large difficulty range. Some problem were easy and some needed closer scrunity to avoid the traps on the way to the development of solutions.
Various levels of expertise in geometry, graph theory, number theory, efficiency and traditional problem solving techniques were expected of the teams this year.

The contestants came through with flying colours:
81 of the 82 teams correctly solved one or more problems
77 of the 82 teams correctly solved two or more problems
59 of the 82 teams correctly solved three or more problems
13 of the 82 teams correctly solved four or more problems
8 of the 82 teams correctly solved five or more problems
3 of the 82 teams correctly solved six or more problems
2 of the 82 teams correctly solved eight or more problems
1 of the 82 teams correctly solved nine or more problems

9 of the 11 problems got solved by 2 hours and 15 minutes
10 of the 11 problems got solved by 3 hours

Good luck to the teams advancing to the Finals in May 2012.

I would like to acknowledge the contributions and endless devotion to the development of the problem set and its error-free data by (in alphabetical order)
Malcolm Corney
Michael Dinneen
Tim French
Tim Lambert
Radu Nicolescu
Alex Potanin
Phil Robbins
Evgeni Sergeev

I look forward to another pleasent experience for the 2012 regional.
However the gap between number of teams solving 3 and 4 problems is worthy of investigation. I was surprised by the small number of successful submissions for a number of problems, especially D and F.

A new process was deployed for the first time to handle the task of replying to clarification requests from the teams in the distributed SPPcontest. It worked well and delays in sending replies were reduced from last years.
Many thanks to
Michael Dinneen
Tim French
Tim Lambert
Alex Potanin
Evgeni Sergeev

who manned the system for the 5 hours of the contest.

Finally I would like to thank Richard Lobb, Phil Robbins and Michael Cameron-Jones for detecting errors (albiet simple) that could have derailed the progress of the contest from the beginning.

Hossam Elgindy
CJ – South Pacific Programming Contest
12 September 2011

Site Winners

View the regional contest results here.

View the school contest results here.

Site Reports

The top teams and universities at each of the sites:

Auckland  from Jacqui Whalley

On September 10th the day after the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony and match in Auckland 10 teams braved the morning in the Auckland CBD (otherwise known as party central for the RWC) to compete in the 2011 ACM South Pacific Programming Contest.  Eight teams from Auckland and two teams from the Waikato region competed this year. 
Congratulations go to the Auckland site’s gold medal team INT_MIN / -1 and their coach Michael Dinneen from Auckland University who solved five problems.
Congratulations also to our school team from Hillcrest High School in Hamilton who solved three of the problems. 
A special thank you must go to our awesome events sponsors IBM and the local IBM helpers Len Thomson and Sharon Hinde. Our judges this year were Michael Dinneen (University of Auckland), Phil Robbins (AUT University) and Bill Rogers (University of Waikato).

from Malcolm Corney

Congratulations to DatJoCur – Thanh Dat Nguyen, Edward Evans (Jo) and Curtis Lusmore, coached by Malcolm Corney – who won the Brisbane site and finished third overall in the region. This is QUT’s best result in the ACM ICPC to date, bettering the fourth place achieved by a QUT team in 2004.

Second place in Brisbane was awarded to Team Friday (Nick Daniels, Ben Dean and Dominic Ferreira) and third place went to Team Synergy (Candace Parkyn, Sam Patterson and Ravi Pethiyagoda). QUT hosted 15 teams at the programming competition this year, with one visiting team from Griffith University and fourteen teams from QUT.

Judging on the day were Douglas Stebila, Chris De Vries and Wayne Kelly. We had operational help from Diane Corney, Harish Ramani and Jimmy Ti and Tomas and Nyssa. Thanks to all for your efforts. Thanks are also due to Stephanie Haddad and Nicholas McClure from IBM who made a brief presentation to the contestants on IBM’s programs.

Thanks also to ACM and IBM for organising and sponsoring the event and to all those behind the scenes for organising the problem set.

from Richard Lobb

On September 10th, Christchurch again hosted the South Island section of the ICPC’s South Pacific Regional contest. 82 teams competed in parallel at nine sites throughout Australasia.

There were five teams competing locally: three from the University of Canterbury, one from the University of Otago and a school team from Burnside High. Congratulations to team ‘Funrolled Loops’ (Brendan Bycroft, Michael McGee and Jamie McCloskey) who came out on top of a tight battle with teams from Wellington and Auckland to win the New Zealand section of the contest. Teams ‘Serenity’ (Cain Cresswell-Miley, Pratik Patel, Shaun Phillips), ‘Team Names Considered Harmful’ (Vincent Wong, Phillip Marvin and Tho Dinh), and ‘Burnside One’ (Logan Glasson, Tony Sun and Kuangda He) all put
in creditable performances, with Burnside One in particular coming second in Australasia in the High School section.

During the morning’s practice contest an apparently irreversible configuration error with the deeply unloved PC^2 program caused some trauma and necessitated a complete rebuild of both the practice contest and the main contest. We were grateful that the luxury of a practice contest allowed us to detect the problem in advance, allowing the main contest to proceed without problems. However, we hope that in future we will be able to move from PC^2 to a web-based contest server.

This year we were trialling a new tightly-secured contestant environment that used a Virtual Machine derived from the 2010 ICPC World Finals environment. The system performed faultlessly and we will be recommending some such environment as a standard for the region for future contests. Our thanks to tech support guru Joffre Horlor, who set it all up.

Our sincere thanks to IBM for sponsoring the event, Joey Scarr for doing most of the judging, Joffre Horlor for tech support, Regional Director Raewyn Boersen and Contest Manager Phil Robbins for all the behind-the-scenes management and of course chief judge Hossam El Gindy and his team for a faultless problem set. Thanks to Hossam and his team also for his invaluable ANZAC Training League in which several of our teams competed this year.

from Mike Cameron-Jones

Congratulations to Andrew Haigh, Hoang Vinh Tran and Duncan Berry for winning the Hobart site and finishing 10th on the regional scoreboard on the day, as “UTas A”. If they hold this position after rejudging, this will be the fifth top 10 finish in a row for UTas. Well done also, for a mid-table finish, to “UTas B”: Karl Malakoff, Richard Johnson and Sebastian Beswick, who were all competing in the event for the first time.

Thanks are due to the ACM and IBM for organisation and sponsorship, and to those who helped out with the site both before and on the day: Tony Gray (Technical Director), Robyn Gibson (Judge), Matthew Armsby (Technician), Terry Bigwood (Technician), David Herbert (Technician), Andrew Spilling (Technician), and Julia Mollison (Administrative Organiser).

Caslon Chua

Congratulations to Michael Jensen, Lawrence Colman and Luke Horvat, “The Honourables” team coached by Caslon Chua from Swinburne University of Technology, who won in the ACM ICPC Melbourne Site.

This year we had 6 teams from 4 universities, La Trobe University, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology and University of Ballarat, noting that the team from Ballarat had to drive at least 110 kilometers to Melbourne and another 110 kilometers back after the competition. And an IBM representative made a brief presentation to the contestants on IBM’s programs to kick-off the event.

Many thanks to the head judge for yet another well prepared problem set, to the ACM and IBM for organisation and sponsorship, and to those who helped out with the site: Rajesh Vasa (Judge), Mohammad Nabi Omidvar (Judge), John Newbigin (Technical Lead), and Margaret Chua (Food Organiser).

from Luigi Barone

from Taso Viglas

from Alex Potanin

On Saturday, 10th of September, 2011, ECS hosted the “Lower North Island” site for the Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest’s South Pacific Regionals. The top team from Australia and the top team from New Zealand get to represent the region at the World Finals to be held in Poland in May 2012.

The winner of the Lower North Island (Wellington) site – DJ Tomato – came close second behind the New Zealand winning team from Christchurch: they both solved the same number of problems but the Christchurch team did it a little bit faster to take the honours. DJ Tomato consists of ECS PhD student, Roma Klapaukh, GradDipSci in Physics student Joshua Baker, and ECS 2nd year student Fergus Whyte.

The other 5 teams competing at ECS were from Massey (Max Dietrich, Faharn Wali, and Fergus, coached by Professor Jens Dietrich) and Wellington: Samuel Hindmarsh, Gordon Chan, and David Wang (coming 2nd locally), Simon Welsh, Liam Cervante, and Ben Lawn (coming 3rd locally), as well as Dominik Schmid, Luke Bravenboer, and Luke March and our 1st year team of Peter Riley, Alex Salenko, and Andrew Davies.

The competition went smoothly and was held at the ECS Networking Lab (CO246). The other sites included: Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Auckland, and Christchurch and were running in parallel. The teams prepared for the regional event by participating in the 6 rounds of ANZAC League which paid off significantly with DJ Tomato coming very close to grabbing the NZ title.

The event’s main sponsor is IBM and the contest was attended by Ralph Fox, Sundar Venkataraman, Mehrdad Fatemi, Marina Chibisova, Ryan Leighs and Jonathan Wierenga who presented the prizes at the end. Mehrdad, one of IBM NZ hiring managers, commented in particular on the value for the job applicants of having ACM programming contest experience on their CV.

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