It was in the year 2009 that we had started CodeChef. The goal was clear. We wanted to improve and expand the Indian programming community.
Over the last four years, we have taken some steps towards the goal. Today, it won’t be grossly incorrect to say that students in most of the top tier engineering colleges in India are making use of the platform.
It was in 2010, that we had launched the Go For Gold program and for the first time the CodeChef team visited the ACM ICPC Regional site to meet the participants in person. It was an awe inspiring moment for us. We met and interacted some of the brightest minds of India. On an excursion with these students, we also visited an engineering college, which could at best be termed a tier-2 college and interacted with the computer science students. And there we witnessed another reality. The students did not know what an online judge is.
The experience of meeting the two ends of the spectrum was humbling. It made us realize that there is still a long way to go for us . We came back more inspired. While winning the gold at the ACM ICPC by an Indian team remained to be an ultimate dream, another started creeping in. To try and remove this disparity between the students of the same subjects in different colleges. The task was not easy.
There were multiple options and our resources were limited. We were determined, we knew we had to do something but did not know what exactly.
On much pondering we felt that “Catching them young” seemed a reasonably compelling way to go. Making students aware of programming when they are in middle or high school and much younger will give them more time to explore, learn and love the subject. Although, how, was still a question to be answered.
We started talking to people. Our users, previous year ICPC winners, professors, and teachers. When the ICPC World finalists from India won the Go For Gold Cup for improving the best ever rank attained by an Indian team, we got a chance to speak to them in person. And this time the idea that we have been pondering about got some backing.
Now the question was what could be done to involve the young guns? Organizing training camps to get them started will be a good way to start. We had received a lot of feedback from people in favour of such trainings. But training was not something that we are skilled at. And more importantly was training scalable and sustainable?
We only knew competitive programming. We had only learnt that. We have believed that competition scales more than anything else. And after many discussions with various people, the idea took shape.
CodeChef for Schools took birth. As a part of this initiative, we want to target students in the middle and high school from across the globe and get them started to competitive programming. And we hedged our bets on the International Olympiads in Informatics. IOI seemed to be a right goal which the students can be made to target. IOI is to schools what ACM ICPC is to colleges and universities.
There are various issues that the Indian students face. This program aims to identify and address them. To ready the Indian students for the world stage, we’ve created a new programming series “LunchTime” specially for school students to give them a competition similar to the IOI and a practice ground to build their skills. The first contest of the series starts this Sunday.
It will be an ongoing contest to be hosted on the last Sunday of every month.
Though it is open to all for participation, it is specially meant for the middle/high school students. There will be separate rating system to be implemented for them.
A student will be identified to be studying in a school based on the entry that he makes in the “Institution” field of his profile page. For this to happen, we will be cleaning up our Institution database. As a part of this exercise we will be removing the entries that we do not understand. This may mean that some of you loose your institution entry. Once we clean that up, we will urge you to enter your institutions once again and choosing it correctly.
The other details of the of the contest can be found on the contest page. We urge you to come and participate and also spread the word among the school community.
There is very less participation from India at the IOI. Hence, we have extended our Go For Gold program to the Indian school students. As a part of this program, we will be giving away cash scholarships worth of 5 lakh+ rupees to the Indian student who wins the Gold medal at the IOI.
CodeChef For Schools is a small first step towards a big change to follow. And, we realize that we cannot do this all by ourselves. We will need your help. If you think we are doing something right and if you are willing to contribute some of your time, together, we’re assured that it can be done.
It is only right for us to acknowledge the support of our community to get this initiative in place. There are many people who have helped us continuously in terms of providing us much needed suggestions and help. We would like to thank them all and also acknowledge the guidance of Professor Madhavan of the IARCS for his continuous support in shaping up this program. We also want to thank Code.org for the awesome video that has inspired us a great deal and we are sure that it will continue to inspire a lot of other people.
So let us join hands and work towards making the young guns program a better tomorrow.
Everyone has his own reasons to be excited about a Sunday. For anyone who’s into competitive programing, nothing compares to the excitement of going up against some of the biggest names in the programming world. And for us, that excitement comes in form of making it happen. Yes, we have our reason in the form of the monthly Cook-Off’s. With that thought let’s take you through the absolutes of our May Cook-Off 2013.
Beginning on the heels of May Challenge 2013, the Cook-Off did not gave us ample time to take a breather.
And although, we have had a successful shift to the cloud, there still was a lot to be taken care of. Yes, we were running our errands a little over our capacity. We’re hardworking creatures, you see. Finally, somehow, we did manage to get things in place, moments before the Cook-Off and crossed our fingers all hoping that things go well. Thankfully, they did go smoothly.
The problem set for the May Cook-Off 2013 came from Abdullah Al Mahmud, who is making a comeback to the CodeChef problem setting panel after a period of almost two year. And what a comeback it has been! We received accolades for the problem set from so many of you. The problems before being served were passed through rigorous testing by Shilp Gupta. The highly sought editorials were being penned by Pradeep Mathias. With all the prerequisites in place, we took our seats waiting for you all to feast on the problem set.
As soon as the problems were unveiled, algorithm crafters from different quarters of the world were seen gorging on them. The first one to taste the sweet nectar of AC was raveman, who cracked the AMSGAME1 in just three minutes. The AMSGAME1 was proving to be an easy fodder as our first hundred submissions were made on the same problem. Slowly, the other problems were also attempted and amidst the early popular ones there was AMSGAME1’s name-twin, AMSGAME2. Contrary to it’s name-twin, the AMSGAME2 wasn’t an easy challenge for the contestants. There were lot of questions raised regarding how the game shall be played and they were all answered aptly. The flow of submissions moved to other problems as well, as we progressed.
By now, the race to the top had gotten serious. We saw shef leading the pack in the first hour of the contest. But his reign atop was cut short by Egork, who claimed the top spot in the second hour. The tossing and topping in the rank charts continued till the very last moments.
Despite the constantly changing names in the ranklist, there weren’t many users who were finding it easy to get through the problem set. Even in the final hour of the contest there was only iwiwi, who successfully cracked AMROOK, which made it evident that the May Cook-Off wasn’t a smooth sail for everyone.
At last, in the final 45 mins of the contest we got dzhulgakov as the first user to have solved all five problems. It surely wasn’t going to be easy with biggies like anton_lunyov and iwiwi going all guns blazing to secure the top spot. This was quite interesting as it marked the beginning of dzhulgakov’s journey to the paramount. Slowly and steadily, dzhulgakov managed to conquer the top spot and successfully defended it till the contest was over. There weren’t many others who succeeded in cracking all five problems. Only five out all the participants were able to crack all five problems.
And to tell you who secured the final position on the podium, here’s the rank list for May Cook-Off 2013.
So, a special round of applause to them and to everyone who participated in the May Cook-Off 2013 and turned it into a successful contest. You guys are awesome.
Now, let’s look at the overall stats for the contest.
With that, we now move towards the June Challenge 2013, which will begin on 7th June 2013. And let’s tell you in advance, we have a pleasant surprise up our sleeves for this contest. To give you a hint let us tell you that a big name from the programming fraternity will be joining our problem setting panel. Any guesses, who it can be? Do let us know.
As of now, enjoy the nicely cooked editorials for May Cook-Off 2013. We regret the delay in publishing them once again. Do not forget to ask your doubts. And in the mean time you can catch up on inside of the moderation room of the Cook-Off – there is some interesting conversation between the panel. Check out their chat history for the entire duration of the Cook-Off here!
We hope you’ve enjoyed the May Cook-Off 2013 as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it up for you. If you have queries, suggestions, or an honest feedback, you can always send it our way at email@example.com.
Till next time, it’s adios from team CodeChef.
See you at the contests.
CodeChef judge SPOJ will be down between 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM IST today, i.e. 24th May 2013, for maintenance activity. You will not be able to access certain features of the website like the submitting solutions. However, discuss.codechef.com and blog.codechef.com will be accessible.
If you have any query, suggestion, or feedback that you want to send ourway, you can always do that at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can check and reach us through our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Coming out of a relationship isn’t the most pleasing feeling. We had just ended our 3-year-old relationship with our ever dependable server and entered into a new one with the cloud. Just like all new relationships, we too were embracing every moment of this new commitment. And hoping that things go nicely. It wasn’t too long, before it was put through the first test during May Challenge 2013. And we did come out unscathed.
The May Challenge 2013 was an exciting contest for us for more than one reason. Yes, it was the first successful contest on our new infrastructure. And, it was the first time when ACRush didn’t win the long challenge that he has participated in. In fact, he was not even among the top three. It is not often that you see legends being defeated. Gentlemen from Romania, North Korea, and Belarus, namely mugurelionut, scli, and gennady.korotkevich eclipsed the dominant ACRush. It is always good to see competition, a healthy one. And this has already set a nice build-up for all our future long challenges. We all know that he will strike back. And that was not the only highlight in the rank charts. We had reason to celebrate in the two Indian participants, balajiganapath and pulkit being among the top ten global winners! A big round of applause for all the winners.
The May Challenge 2013 began with a platter of eight juicy problems. And the users were on to them right from the beginning. Going by the initial submission trend, we found that, contrary to the saying, there is indeed a lot in the “NAME,” as our NAME1 and NAME2 problems saw flurry of submissions. The first one to get over the NAME1 mystery was manish05, who cracked the problem in the sixth minute of the contest. While most of the users were busy cracking up NAMEs, some others were seen taking Field Trip. And enjoying it quite well. Among the early boarders on the field trip train, there were the biggies like ACRush, mugurelionut, and anton_lunyov. Apparently, mugurelionut enjoyed the trip the most. While, our users were enjoying the flavors, our problem setters were busy spicing up the remaining two problems for the contest.
The ninth and tenth problems were added on third and fourth day of the contest respectively. The tenth problem was the challenge problem and it proved to be a great one as well. Appreciation from all quarters came for pieguy’s Password Cracking Challenge and participants complemented his hard work with theirs. And everyone was going all out to make the most of it. At one point we had scli and mugurelionut having a score of almost a perfect ten, enjoying the first and second spot. mugurelionut continued from there and successfully defended his stay at the top till the very end in spite of some stiff competition. Now, let’s take you through the rank tables that incidentally features some of the biggest names ever on CodeChef!
Drum roll please!
The International Top Ten includes:
The Indian Top Twenty includes:
Now, with the very exciting and much appreciated Challenge problem, it is only fair that the participants with the highest score for this challenge problem (not in the above list) are also rewarded.
Cheers to all the winners!!
The May Challenge 2013 also brought us the highest number of submissions in any long contest. So, along with the star studded rank charts, there were a few other reasons to be happy.
Let us take you through some of those reasons in terms of the stats for the contest.
Boy, that’s a lot of submissions on only ten problems! All thanks to our meticulous problem setters, testers and editorials and not to forget, you. For May Challenge 2013, the problem setting panel featured Shanjingbo, Vinayak Garg, Manish Kumar, Shalini Sah, Vamsi Kavala, Kaushik Iska, Roman Rubanenko, David Stolp and Tuan Anh. This time the responsibility of testing was shared between David Stolp & Pradeep Mathias, who did a commendable job! And Shilp Gupta churned out the delicious editorials, go check them now here. If you did not notice, we had two debutants in our problem-setting panel in Manish Kumar and Shalini Sah. Join us to welcome them aboard. These wonderfully talented individuals can be accredited for the brilliant May Challenge 2013 we all enjoyed. So, a big thank to all of them.
Now, while we bask in the glory of one more successful contest and embark on the journey with our new infrastructure, we must not forget the hiccups. It wasn’t grave, but it forced us to extend the contest duration by 1 hour towards the end. It was caused because of the unexpectedly large number of submissions queued up for the challenge problem. Everyone wanted to better their previous scores and hence were making multiple submissions every minute. This made the judge’s task very hard and consequently affected its response time as it tried its best to recompute the score of everyone on each submission. You would agree that the task is not envious. We had to restrict the allowed number of submissions to 1 in every 180 seconds for every user to bring down the queue. It wasn’t a very easy decision on our part, but had to be taken at the moment. We have now enforced this limit across the whole website with a reduced restriction of 1 submission in every 30 seconds. We felt this is the least we could do to help the judge server. After this small glitch, things went smoothly and the May Challenge 2013 came to end.
After the memorable May Challenge 2013, we are all set for the May Cook-Off 2013. So, don’t forget to join us on 19th May 2013 at 21:30 IST to taste the delicacies from problem setter Abdullah Al Mahmud, with tester Shilp Gupta and editorialist Pradeep Mathias.
Do share your feedback, suggestions or just drop in a mail to see how we are doing at email@example.com. We love hearing from you people.
Till next time, adios everybody.
See you at the contests.
It was Star Wars day (May the 4th, 2013), and the “force” was certainly with us at the CodeChef Meetup. There weren’t firecrackers lighting up the sky and neither was there the greatest Jedi Master, Yoda giving philosophic lessons to the attendees. However, there were bunch of right people at the right place. The CodeChef meetup was organized to launch our new initiative CodeChef for Schools, aimed at promoting programming among school kids. So, what better way than having Prof. Madhavan Mukund, President and Member, Executive Council, Indian Association for Research in Computing Science (IARCS) and Executive Director, International Olympiad in Informatics, Mr. Bhavin Turakhia, CEO, The Directi Group, Mr. Kunal Shah, founder of Freecharge.in and Mr. Aakrit Vaish, Director India operations, Flurry Inc. Along with those big names, we also had the members of Team Fringe from IIT Bombay, that has qualified for this year’s ACM ICPC world finals to be held at St. Petersburg National Research University, Russia – Aakash N S and Vinod Reddy G. The audience comprised of students from various Mumbai Colleges. And of course, there was yours truly, Team CodeChef.
The agenda for the day was CodeChef for Schools – the initiative aimed at bettering the computer-programming scenario in India at an early age. And hence the event was flagged by letting the young students take the stage. Members of Team Fringe opened the session by sharing the wealth of their experiences into the world of competitive programming. They told us that they weren’t as well acquainted with computer programming in their high school as they would have wanted to. This lack of awareness affected them, as they started their competitive programming journey on the SPOJ. They acknowledged that had there been such a platform when they were in school, they would be better prepared. They took several questions from the eager audience, who asked them about how they prepare, which books they refer and about their approach towards solving competitive programming problems. Watching them answer these questions was sheer joy. The Q&A session with the students was a perfect ice breaker to set up a friendly tone for what was about to come.
After the students, we were joined by Bhavin, on video, for the official launch of the initiative. In his address, Bhavin shared with us his story of how he got into programming in his school days amidst the challenges that he faced. How the lack of infrastructure, proper guidance, and incentive did not deter him from going ahead with his passion. Furthermore, he spoke about the Directi Go for Gold program aimed at his ambition of bringing the gold prize at the ACM ICPC to India. And how that ambition has led to the Go for Gold initiative being extended under the CodeChef for Schools program. Now it aims at Indian school students bringing the Gold medal at the IOI. He ended his speech with a plea to the audience to join the program and help take programming to schools. He ceded way to Prof. Madhavan to take the podium.
Prof. Madhavan, has been associated with IOI and IARCS for about ten years now and has deep understanding of computer programming scenario among school students in India. In his address to the students, he shared how IARCS in affiliation with the CBSE has been working towards promoting programming among the Indian school students. The program has been growing slowly and steadily. Yet, there is still a lot of work to be done. He also gave an insight on the training that is conducted for the students who are selected for these training camps held every year before the final 4 are selected to go for the IOI world finals. He also highlighted how many ACM ICPC world finalists from India in the past have been the students who have attended the IOI training camp when they were in school.
However, he feels that in India, the awareness regarding the significance of competing in contests like IOI is very low. Especially when we compare it to countries like China and the USA. This is where he feels that an initiative like the CodeChef for Schools can be useful and that it can work in bettering the programming scenario in Indian schools. In the last segment of his address he took several questions from the students. Questions on the eligibility for participation at the IOI, the books that should be read while preparing for such competitions were among the frequently asked one. By the end of his talk, we started seeing members in the audience getting eager to volunteer for the CodeChef for Schools initiative by promoting programming in their respective schools.
After Prof. Madhavan, Mr. Kunal Shah addressed the audience and shared his valuable experience which he learnt during his entrepreneurial journey of conceptualizing freecharge.in and making it a fruitful business venture. He spoke about how technology is changing the world around and how youngsters acquainted with computer programming can be an integral part of this change. Students seemed to have enjoyed the session with Kunal, as it taught them how they can excel in their respective fields despite taking some unconventional routes. Session with Kunal was followed by a few valuable words from Mr. Aakrit Vaish, Director India operations at Flurry, Inc. He spoke more about how to stand out from the crowd and to make the most of your talent.
Now that the motivation was flowing, we took a small break from the proceedings and gave everyone some time to interact with each other. Meanwhile, to fuel up everyone some flavors in the form of snacks and beverages were served. Students were seen enthusiastically interacting with each other while gelling well with the dignitaries present. However, some were seen focusing only on the Samosas and upon closer inspection, they turned out to be members of our team. Yeah, we were hungry.
After all the motivation, encouragement, and awareness talks, it was time for some fun. Shilp Gupta took over. We played a game in which the awesome CodeChef goodies were up for grabs for the winners. The game required the members of the audience to interact with each other to come up with the answer to the questions posed by Shilp and they were all seen jumping here and there in search of the perfect partner. Entire floor was filled with energy and fun, and no one was in the mood to see an end to the game. However, the game did not brought an end to the fun. Our team members, Suraj Sharma and Gaurav Munjal had something else planned out for everyone and it was brilliantly executed. If you haven’t already seen it, you must see it here.
It was time to put an end to a successful meetup, which had everything, from learning, to being crazy. To conclude the event we held a small feedback session, which had students giving their feedback about CodeChef, CodeChef’s contests and the meetup. The session brought to us some nice suggestions, which we were all ears to and we intend to work upon.
If you are disappointed that you missed the CodeChef Meetup, do not be. You can relieve some moments of the meetup here. And, you can be part of such CodeChef meetups in the future and even you can hold such Meetups at your school and college. How? It’s simple – just get in touch with us with your agenda for the meetup and we can help you organize and publicize the event.
If you wish to join our CodeChef for Schools initiative, drop us a mail with your details at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you with the necessary details. Alternatively, you can also connect with us on our Facebook page CodeChefForSchool and also on our Facebook group.
So, what are you waiting for? Get up and take the initiative. Together we can make a change.
If you have any queries, suggestions, or you want to say something special, you can always write to us at email@example.com.
There are plenty of reasons to cheer for April. If you are a student, it marks the beginning of long summer vacations and if you are a CodeChef user, it brings the monthly programming challenges. Those are the two reasons we can think of. We’re sure you have more. Now, we know it has been a while since the April contests got over and it’s a bit too late to publish this post. We regret the delay. And would try and be more punctual in future. For now, let us take you back to the April contests and relive the chills and thrills that they witnessed.
The April Challenge 2013 had Vamsi Kavala, Jay Pandya, Bruno Oliveira, Kaushik Iska, Roman Rubanenko, Anton Lunyov, Vitaliy Herasymiv, Tom Chen, and David Stolp aboard as our problem setters. While, the problem-setting panel had some familiar names, there were two new ones in Tom Chen and Jay Pandya, who were contributing their first problem for CodeChef. A big welcome to both of them. Hiroto Sekido handled problem testing, while the editorials came from the omnipresent Anton Lunyov. The problem setters did a superb job with the problems. We kicked off the April Challenge 2013 with nine problems, as the tenth one needed some garnishing and hence, it was served a bit later. However, that did not affect the proceedings of the contest. And the submissions flowed in right from the beginning.
MAXDIFF was the first problem to receive an accepted submission followed by LEVY. Inside first fifteen minutes of the contest, we had received submissions on five of our problems. Not many were AC, though. But that indicated the fervor of the participants. Right from the first submission, the race to the top was on. And the participants went all out to make it to the peak. It was clear with the constantly changing names at the top of rank tables. From comparatively novice aurinegro, to the experienced viv001, we saw many different names acquiring the top spot at one point or the other.
While, there were some familiar names featuring at the top, there were some not so familiar names as well. It is sheer pleasure to have new names fighting for the top slot. These twists and twirls at the top kept us all guessing till the very end. An interesting turn of event was djdolls’ claim to the top of Indian charts from the very early stage of the contest to the final leg and then disappearing completely. We were shocked to not see him among the winners. However, the other names on the rank charts did made us happy.
Here are the final key stats for April Challenge 2013 in totality.
After those staggering figures, let us have a look at winner tables.
The International rank table features:
The Indian rank tables had:
Now, let’s move on to our special achievers club and congratulate the users with highest scores for Challenge problem in April Challenge 2013.
Big congratulations to all the winners.
The numbers combined with the rank tables reflects the gratifying response to April Challenge 2013. This keeps us all pumped up to bring better contests and shows the great work done by our panel of problem setters, tester and editorialist. So, a special round of applause for them. You can always share your thoughts and opinions about the contest with us. We love reading and replying to them. Also, check out the editorials for the April Challenge 2013 here.
By the time the April Challenge 2013 got over we reached mid April, and the preparation for the April Cook-Off was on. Vitaliy Herasymiv chopped the problem set for the cook-off, while Hiroto Sekido took care of problem testing. The editorials came from the kitchen of Pradeep Mathias. The April Cook-Off started in style with first accepted submission coming inside three minutes on AMMEAT by aircube. As we moved into the April Cook-Off, the contest started heating up, with seasoned players like anton_lunyov, KADR, and yeputons going all out to claim the top spot.
The constant changing names atop the rank charts indicated a healthy contest. However, pros like anton_lunyov and yeputons dominated the rank charts for larger duration. Nevertheless, there were instances of their dominance being challenged by the likes of dzhulgakov, who was last seen in our Silver Jubilee Cook-off. We love such comebacks. The nicely balanced problem set gave everyone enough excitement, from the very start till the end. After a lot of toppling at the top of the rank tables, dzhulgakov emerged as a clear winner for the contest followed by anton_lunyov and yeputons as first and second runner up respectively.
Now let us take you through the rank list of April Cook-off, featuring some familiar as well as some not-so-familiar names.
A big round of applause for all the winners, and for everyone who was a part of our April Cook-off.
Let alone a couple of twists in the rank tables, the April Cook-Off was a rather calm contest with everybody enjoying the problem set to the fullest. The numbers for April Cook-off were not mind blowingly high, but were satisfying enough. Here are all the key stats for you.
Overall, the April Cook-off was a smooth contest with good participation and performance. We enjoyed every bit of the contest and hope that you did so as well. We would like to thank our problem setter, tester, and editorialist for yet another successful contest. The editorials of the contest have been uploaded, so go check them now here in case you haven’t done that yet.
That is all from all of us here at CodeChef. We hope you are enjoying the May Challenge 2013. If you have any queries, suggestions, or feedbacks, you can always shoot them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you all at the contests
It is a heart breaking time here. A marriage is coming to an end. It is time to get out of a 3 year old committed relationship. And it makes us sad. Our server has been the most committed one. It has withstood all that has come its way and in 3 hard long years it has never let us down. We have not witnessed a single hiccup from the hardware – yes, all those down times were due to application failures or software issues. At this parting time, the least we can do is confess.
But as all good things have to come to an end, so has to to be this relationship. And it is not without a reason. Our users are growing in good numbers. Every contest is seeing greater participation. It has been our endeavor to provide you a better experience. And along with your growing love, it has become important for us to move on to a new kitchen, a more scalable infrastructure. Yes, we are moving on to the cloud. We have been working on this since the last few weeks and now we think we are ready to take the plunge.
Tomorrow, at 8:30 AM IST we will be making the move and it is expected to be over in 4 hours. We will need a downtime for this migration. Though we have been working hard on testing every aspect of the system, since this is a complete infrastructure overall, there might be some initial hiccups. Parts of site may get slow, links may break. We request you to use the site thoroughly in the next few days and report any bug/issue to email@example.com immediately. We are waiting here to fix all of them. We also regret this downtime. But we hope that it is only for a better tomorrow.
So here is the plan. The new site will be available at http://ww2.codechef.com. You may not have to do anything apart from deleting your browser cookies. All your requests will be automatically routed to the new url. And after a few days, if everything goes well, we will get back on to our loved url http://www.codechef.com. But this cannot happen without your participation. Please use the system and send us your feedback.
For any queries, doubts, questions, hatred or love, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post is going live today, but do not let that fool you. We had just turned four the other day, and let us tell you once again that these have been four good years. And we celebrated too. With the party behind our back, it was now time for us to focus on our future engagements. Being the beginning of a fresh year for us, we thought of presenting some new exciting changes to you. Let us take you through our March Long Challenge 2013, which had one of these changes.
Beginning on our Budday, the March Challenge 2013 was decorated by our problem setters xcwgf666, pieguy, vamsi_kavala, witua, iscsi, pieguy, Rubanenko, tuananh93, vinayak garg, and kaushik_iska, while anton_lunyov and gamabunta played the tester and editorialist. This time around, we introduced the ‘Interactive Problem’ for the first time in our long challenge. And with that, we had things in place for a glittering contest.
Our expectations were slightly held back, as we had only eight problems to start with. But soon, we saw a flurry of submissions on APPROX and TOTR. The initial frenzy was further fueled up with the addition of ZENCALC and LECOINS. With all the problems on the platter, we were set to enjoy the ride. And so it began. The submissions steadied and sanity ensured.
However, it was difficult to not miss the absence of our regular winner ACRush. What this also meant was an opportunity for the rest to stake a claim on the top spot. And indeed, there were people going all out to carve a place for themselves atop the rank table. We saw scli and balajiganapath dominating the global and Indian charts almost all through the contest. The rank tables were pretty much the same right from the beginning until the end.
The top ten international winners are:
The top twenty Indian winners are:
A special mention to the users with highest scores for the Challenge problem (apart from the winners). For those who do not know why, you may find more about it here.
A big round of applause for all the winners! The overall numbers this time around were not as high as we have seen in the past, which might reflect upon the difficulty level of the problems. After a prolonged discussion with our panel, we arrived at the conclusion that some problems like ZENCALC and LECOINS were easier than what the contestants found out and our panel felt that more number of contestants should have solved them. Delay in uploading the problems could also have been a reason for lesser success rate of these problems. Do feel free to tell us whether you agree or disagree with our panel. And also have a look at the editorials here.
The stats of the contest are as under:
An incident worth mentioning, is a case of reported cheating during the contest. We investigated and found some users guilty. Needless to say that it made us very sad. Cheating kills a contest. It spoils the hard work put by so many people who are involved in the making of a contest. We do not consider ourselves holding any moral authority over anyone and hence we have not been taking any strong action against the cases of cheating in the past. However, to not spoil the efforts of the people involved, the least that we can do and will be doing is to suspend a user from participating in any future contest to be hosted on CodeChef, if we can find any kind of suspicious behavior from his/her account. And it will be disappointing for us to do so. We believe that the fun lies in playing it fair and we urge each one of you to play honestly and have fun while doing so. And, please report to us any cases of malpractice that you may find happening during a contest.
After the tough-to-crack Long challenge, we started sailing towards the Cook-Off featuring Tuan Anh donning the problem-setting hat for his very first Cook-Off. Our go-to-guy Anton Lunyov was in his elements in doing what he does best and Shilp Gupta wore the editorialist hat once again. That formed the star cast for an enticing Sunday and we were certainly excited!
This contest had one major fix that (happily for us) none of you noticed. In the break between the Long Challenge and the Cook-Off, our team was working hard to fix the connectivity issue of heavy load that has given us company very loyally since the last few months. This time, the team had managed to replicate the load and nail down the problem of lost connectivity during high load. So, with excitement, there was this nervous anticipation and crossed, nail bitten fingers. After all, high load problems may be fixed off line but they can only be tested live.
As things were about to go smooth, the approaching Holi, and April fool’s day fever caught us up, without us even knowing it. Hence, the unintended mischief at the beginning of the contest. However, we did respond in a jiffy and the real contest started in about 7 minutes from the scheduled start. And we wished that there wouldn’t be anymore.
The debutant problem setter Tuan Anh cooked up some absorbing problems that we hope pleased your taste buds. While we had TAVISUAL attracting flurry of submissions, there were some tough nuts to crack in TABUS and TABISHOP. Overall, the problem set seemed to be a well-balanced one after quite a few very hard Cook-Offs, which was a welcome change.
While, submissions kept growing, we had two of our problems unsolved until the very last stage of the contest. We got the first user to solve all the five problems in uwi, without any penalties, followed by EgorK in the last minutes of the contest. The numbers, though not mind boggling, did suggest that it was a well fought one. Let us take you through them.
The final figures of the contest are:
Just as the nature of the contest, the rank table for our March Cook-off was also rather steady with no major twists and turns. Securing the podium by the end of the contest was uwi, as the contest winner, followed by EgorK and yeputons as the first & second runner up. The final standings for the contest are here:
The March Cook-Off 2013 was filled with healthy competition and a well balanced and testing problem set which are the key ingredients of any successful contest. For that, we would like to thank our superb panel of problem setter, problem tester and our editorialist. And more importantly, to you all for making it successful by your participation. The editorials for the March Cook-Off 2013 have been published, this time right after the contest (we know how much eager you get to view them); you can check them all here.
Now as we write this, we move towards the April Challenge 2013. We have an incredible line up in our panel and that promises a mouthwatering contest. We are sure you wont want to miss it. So mark your calendars and join us on the first Friday of April, i.e. on 5th April, 2013 at 15:00 hours IST. Check your time zone here.
As of now, that is all from us here. And we are sorry; we could not fool you this time! But we are sure there is a little fool in all of us and let us wish each one of us a very Happy April Fools day!
See you all at the contests.
Yippy!!! We are four years younger now. Congratulations and celebrations!!! Of all the time related adages on the birthdays, we would quote Charles Richards -
“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.”
This, not because it is our favorite. This, because it best describes our journey of the past year. And, to give you a clearer picture let us take you to a trip to the corridors of last year.
As we look back, we see a lot of turbulence. Upon reflection, the good out-weighs the bad. And for that, we are indeed thankful to you. We embarked on our fourth year with our third Anniversary challenge. It ended in a three-way tie, something that none of us could have guessed! With an engrossing finish to the first contest of the year, we were provoked for attaining better feats. And we started with the launch of our new Question and Answer styled CodeChef Discuss. In the span of one year, the Discuss has grown into a pool of very skilled and extremely helpful programmers ready to help the aspiring ones. We feel happy about it.
The introduction of new QnA forum was just the first of many steps that baby CodeChef was about to take into its fourth year. After giving you you all a new forum to get over your programming queries and quarrels, we decided to give all a chance to hoist their country’s flag atop the rank tables. Not that you were not doing so, we just thought it would be nice to actually have the flag of your nation pinned against your name in the rank tables. And, just like juveniles, our team was delighted to see the colorful new rank tables. While, we were at the rank tables, we thought of adding some ornament to your profile page in the form of the new rating graphs. This allowed you to check your and other’s progress across all contests in a graphical view. We hope you had as much fun with it as we had bringing it to you.
The pleasing response to the above features encouraged us to bring more spice to table. Next, we took our homepage under the knife to give it a new look giving a dedicated space to the top performers and contributors in the fourth banner. After revamping the homepage, we moved the editorials from our wiki to CodeChef discuss to give them more visibility and interaction. And to make it even lip-smacking, we introduced the role of the editorialist to make our editorials more lucid and understandable to a larger section of our community. And as you know now, the editorials are the most awaited dish from the Chef’s kitchen. Seeing the warm reception to the changes, we were constantly riding our mind horses to bring more improvements. And it continued with providing the author/tester info for the problems and the drop down pre-fills for the supported language field in the submission page. However, that is not where the awesomeness of our new submission page ends. We have already bragged a lot about it here.
Phew! Now, before you take a breather from counting the number of changes, let us tell you that we are not done yet. In our attempt to connect you all more closely with your college mates, we are in the midst of cleaning up our institution database.
All those cool features and not a single sign of bug! That sounds suspicious. Isn’t it? We have always been honest with you. There is no point in hiding. Our journey hasn’t been bug free. You know it. After all, many of you have reported them. Every time a bug has been reported, it has become our priority. We have tried our best to fix it and do so as soon we could. If you find somewhere something still broken, please let us know. We will try and send you across as goodie a small token of our appreciation.
While we were at those enhancements and fixing the long list of bugs, the thing really kept us going was your growing love for us. The community has kept growing and this has reflected in the ever growing numbers. Since last year, it has become a regularity that a contest has witnessed better participation than the previous one. And, with the good comes the bad! We too had our fair share of disheartening moments. Worth mentioning are the Cook-Offs where the riding was not as smooth as we wanted and the contestants faced trouble specially in the starting moments. But let us assure you that it is right up there on our priority list and we are bound to improve on this and will be working hard to give you all a trouble free experience.
The winters brought with them a fresh chill of thrill. As for the first time, our team was going to be present at every ACM-ICPC India regionals site. We were eager to be at the ground. The feeling of being at the contest site was thrilling. This was also the first time that IIT Kharagpur hosted the contest. Sitting here and providing you the platform is a good thing and enough to keep us going. But meeting you in person and interacting with you provided us with a new impetus. There is a lot yet to be done.
Riding high on the experience of ACM-ICPC Asia regional trips, we entered the New Year. We kept getting higher numbers and we do love our numbers. Allow us to take you through some of them. However, before we do that, we’d like to thank all the people without whom, all these numbers will be imaginary.
We’d like to thank
And now, the little progress report of the last year.
With this, it’s time for us to treat ourselves to some high-spirited celebrations.
But before we sign off, allow us to quote a few lines that we all must have read in our childhood. They depict quite a bit of what we feel today.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.” - Robert Frosts’ Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
With that, thanks everybody, do keep sending your feedback. We love to hear from you all.
Till next time, so long everybody.
See you at the contests.
P.S.:- We will be having a small celebration in our cafeteria at 5:00 PM (IST). So, Come join us and wish CodeChef A Very Happy B’Day.
CodeChef, along with its associated websites will be offline from 1:00 AM (IST) to 2:00 AM (IST), on 26th February, 2012 for bringing in some changes into the database.
You can check your time zone here.
For any query or question during the downtime, you can write to us at email@example.com
Thanks for being with us.
01:20am(IST) Update: The database changes were successful and we are back online.