[ProgSoc] 2012 ACM ICPC South Pacific Region Contest Report

Peter Revelant revelant at progsoc.org
Sun Sep 16 02:29:11 EST 2012

UTS entered two teams in the 2012 ACM ICPC South Pacific Region
Contest, held on Saturday 15 September at Sydney University, formed
around winners of the 2012 UTS Programming Competition that was held
in August.
The final results are posted on www.sppcontest.org. 85 teams took part
across the region, with 12 teams at the Sydney site from Sydney Uni,
University of Newcastle, and UTS. Sydney teams dominated the contest
this year, with the top 4 coming from the Sydney site. The first place
team from Sydney Uni and second place team from UNSW will be going to
the finals in St Petersburg next year.

UTS teams placed 72nd and 78th. Although we were outclassed by our
cross-town rivals, we took several positive things away from the
contest. First and foremost, the contestants had a good time,
stretching themselves in an activity that they enjoy. This experience
should further stimulate their thinking regarding several fundamental
programming tasks, especially debugging and meeting program

Second, UTS ProgSoc President Tom Bozic and myself were able to
observe how the contest was run from behind the scenes, and picked up
a few pointers on how to improve future UTS competitions.

Third, we also discussed preparations made by other teams with their
coaches. Starting this year, Sydney Uni students can take a subject
focused on solving ACM ICPC problems, which require the ability to
apply knowledge of data structures and algorithms. I have heard from
Dr. Chaczko, previous winning coaches, and some UTS PhD students, that
such subjects are offered at universities in Russia, Poland and China,
among other countries. The winning teams from both Sydney Uni and UNSW
organised their own practice on a weekly basis starting early in the
year, and built on their experience in previous years' contests.
Several universities in the region participated in the ANZAC league, a
6 round competition from March to August with the sole purpose of
preparing for the ACM ICPC. In contrast, UTS teams had very little
preparation beyond the UTS Programming Competition.

Going forward, we hope to improve the performance of UTS teams in 2013
by holding the UTS Programming Competition in March. This will
encourage interested students to meet and begin collaboration and
training well in advance of the ACM ICPC regional contest in
September. I expect that this preparation will be driven by ProgSoc
and the contestants themselves, with assistance from FEIT, much as
occurred this year. ProgSoc will be in contact with the principal
organisers of the ANZAC league, and intend to involve UTS in that,
preferably by running our own site, but failing that, by participating
at Sydney Uni or UNSW sites. The ANZAC league in its current form is
in doubt for 2013, but through our contacts we hope to be informed of
and involved in whatever preparatory activities that replace it.

I would like to thank the ProgSoc Programming Competitions team for
initiating and organising the UTS event, sponsors, and entry into the
ACM ICPC. I would also like to thank all the university staff who
supported and assisted us with the UTS Programming Competition and the
ACM ICPC. In particular, I would like to thank Professor Doan Hoang,
Head of the School of Computing and Communications, without whose
support none of this would have been possible. Finally, I would like
to thank all the participants, who were at all times enthusiastic and
cooperative. More than anything else, being part of a community of
programming with like-minded peers educates and inspires us to be
better programmers.

That concludes all the scheduled ProgSoc programming competition
activity for 2012. The utsprogcomp2012 and acmicpc12 mailing lists
will be retired one week from today. We may use the email addresses
subscribed to those lists to contact you directly regarding future
programming competition related activity. If you want to be more
involved in the UTS programming community, I recommend you join
ProgSoc by coming along to one of our weekly meetings in room
CB10.3.380a at 6 p.m. every Thursday ($5 annual membership fee for UTS
students). ProgSoc membership gives you access to ProgSoc servers and
the various ProgSoc mailing lists that promulgate messages regarding
programming jobs, ProgSoc events, and discussion of general
programming interest. See www.progsoc.org for more details regarding
our services and activities.

Peter Revelant
Programming Competition Coordinator, UTS Programmers' Society (ProgSoc)

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