We understand that there were some problems with the contest this weekend. For those who missed it:
- Despite a few days of frantic optimizing, we still experienced some issues in the first half hour of the contest due to heavy load on the server (about 300 teams registered in the last 3 days – doubling our expected amount). There were multiple complaints of people not being able to access the site at the contest’s kickoff.
- The test data and the sample input/output was wrong for the problem SUM12. Some of you figured out our mistake and were able to still get the solution accepted… well done. For others, this seemingly easy problem led to a lot of frustration.
We’ve evaluated all the options and here’s what we are going to do (brace yourself)… Re-Snackdown: Sunday December 20th 4-7pm – only teams who solved at least 1 problem in the original Snackdown are eligible for the finals/prize money. Some of you are screaming at your monitors (especially those in the current top 5)…this isn’t fair… we hear you but there is no way to make everyone happy. We screwed up, we’re sorry. Here’s the other options and an explanation of why we are taking this approach:
- Do nothing – Everyone had access to the same set of questions, good or bad, 7 teams were able to solve three problems. Invite them all to the finals. We almost did this, the reason why this doesn’t work is mainly the placement of people from 7-20. A lot of people solved 2 problems, and since we are giving out money, it depends how long you spent on and how many wrong answers you submitted for SUM12. Didn’t seem fair to distribute money based on this.
- Rejudge SUM12 with the correct test data and eliminate penalties for this problem – While this approach seems logical at first, it doesn’t help the people who spent a lot of time on this problem. We’re still stuck with the same issue as above (doing nothing) except add to that the complication of multiple people now having solved three problems. We think a lot of people will end up not liking the results.
- Re-Snackdown – We considered leaving it open to anyone, or allowing anyone who solved a problem or attempted SUM12 to participate. We are limiting it to those who solved one problem and treating this like an elimination round. This may seem unfair to those who spent all their time attempting SUM12 (without solving any other problems correctly). We believe that there were enough comments to indicate there was an issue with the problem and at least one other relatively easy problem that could have been solved in the time limit. By limiting the participants, we are also decreasing the load on the server for the next round (though we are working on fixing this). The next contest is on a Sunday afternoon post exams (Dec 20th), and last 3 hours (4-7pm).
Some people will undoubtably feel like we should’ve taken one of the approaches listed above (especially those in the original top 5). We’re sorry, don’t hate us… feel free to comment and let us know what you think… try to be nice.