Our July was happy and busy. Of course, there were times when we found ourselves wishing for it to get over, but we are not going to talk about them. It is a fresh blog post (a tad delayed as well), so let us get on with it. The July Long Challenge 2014 concealed too much action in its confines for us all and we hope you enjoyed it thoroughly. It has been five years now, but still the fear of goofing up a contest is always there in our subliminal minds whenever we are nearing one. The arrival of July Challenge was not different. However, contrary to some of our infamous goof ups, it was a walk down the park. Yes, it did start with six problems, but their mesmerizing flavors kept everyone far from missing the remaining four. Moreover, taking advantage of that, we served the remaining four problems, two on the same day, & two on the second day of the contest, with lots of love poured on them.
The problem-setting panel for the July Challenge featured Gerald Agapov, Vitaliy Herasymiv, Lalit Kundu, Vivek Hamirwasia, Vitalij Kozhukhivskij, Sergey Nagin, and Dmytro Berezin, all of whom have so many great contests against their names, and it was utmost pleasing to have them. We hope you enjoyed cracking the problems, and perhaps would have taken a lesson or two from all of them. Shang Jingbo and Gerald Agapov, both of them who have immaculate taste as a problem setter, did the testing of the problems to be contest ready. The cherry on top as the editorials came from our young editorialist Devendra Agarwal. The extra flavors in Mandarin and Russian translations came from Minako Kojima & Gedi Zheng and Sergey Kulik respectively. It is always nice to have different flavors for the problems and we are sure you enjoyed them meticulously. With that, let us move away from the pleasantries and relive the wonderful moments from the contest.
The eyes of the participants lit up as soon as the problems were unveiled. And suddenly everyone forgot that four of the problems were missing. Without disturbing them, we started working towards the remaining problems, of which two were added on the very same day, while the other two were served during the first weekend. The contest opened with a accepted submission on Count Substrings, which turned out to be the easiest problem of the contest and fetched maximum submissions. And we are sure a majority of them were accepted. With a over 1K submissions less than Count Substrings, Reach The Point was the second most popular problem of the contest. They both saw plethora of accepted submissions and became the reason of smile to many.
As the contest progressed, the participants started enjoying the Garden Game, and Chef and Frogs almost equally. By this time, the remaining two problems were added to the contest, and now we were sailing towards the half way mark of the contest. The period of fun & games was approaching its closure and the race to the top was on. But that doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop, and it did not. Plenty of new users joined the contest in the second half, and the party kept going on.
As we inched towards the final weekend of the July Challenge 2014,we expected the rank tables to be pretty much like what we have had in the past. However, it was nowhere near that. The names topping the charts were not that we had known for long, and the numbers were touching new heights. In the final weekend, we had emkjp sitting atop the rank list with a score of perfect 10 and accompanying were demidenko & stolis. And we were pleased to see new names topping the chart. However, in the back of our mind we were expecting a strike down from the pros in ACRush & mugurelionut, who also were seen on the tables. The Indian rank table was led by djdolls, who this time around had win_ay & praneethiitr accompanying him on the charts. As we approached the final moments of the contest, the big guns snatched the top spots painting the July Challenge 2014 in their own color. However, it was a close finish with ACRush, mugurelionut, and rns4 all getting a perfect score of 10. It seemed an apt ending to a contest, which had almost every aspect of a fun filled competitive programming contest. And, we congratulate all the participants for making it so.
Now, let us meet our winners.
We start with the non-Indian top 10:
The Indian top twenty:
Now, let us move towards the special achievers category.
We start with the the little wizards from schools outside India:
Now, from schools in India:
Finally, the special achievers with highest score for the challenge problem GERALD09, apart from the winners:
First, the non-Indian top three:
Now, the Indian top three:
Congratulations to all the winners for their brilliant performance and all the best for the coming one.
Now, let us give you a tad devilish stats for the July Challenge 2014. Why do we call it devilish? You check yourself.
That is all that we have for you from our July Challenge 2014. We are sure you all must be having your own interesting set of stories about the contest and we want to hear them all. So, shoot them to us at email@example.com
With that we bring down curtains to the tale of July Challenge 2014 and move towards cooking up another tale for the July Cook-off 2014. We will be serving it soon. So keep watching this space.
Till then, it’s bye-bye from CodeChef.
See you all at the contests.
It has been one year since we hosted our first LunchTime contest. Being the youngest contest among the three that we host, LunchTime certainly has a special place in all our hearts. In fact, the wonderful fragrance of talents we witnessed on that day has spread to new avenues now. New names have come up, school kids have moved to colleges, and some new wizards have turned themselves in, but the competency still is as ferocious and fiery as it was at the start. The numbers surely will have a tale of their own to tell, but what we all have experienced in this past one year of our LunchTime contest is beyond the reach of numbers & words. In anticipation of many more such wonderful years to come, let us step together into a new year of playing together & learning together.
The menu for the anniversary June LunchTime 2014 came from our young buffs in Sergey Kulik, who was juggling the roles of problem setter, editorialist, & Russian translator and we must say he did an immaculate job at it. The problems were tested briskly to ensure that they are party-ready by Roman Furko, while the extra spice of Mandarin translation came from Minako Kojima & Gedi Zheng. We might have been the host of the party, but it was the jovial efforts of our problem-setting panel, which made it so much fun. So, let us give it up for them. With that, we were all ready to get the ball rolling for our anniversary LunchTime & velvet rope was lifted on the fine Sunday morning.
The contest opened to a warm reception with flurry of accepted submissions in the opening minutes of the contest on SMPAIR. And the most amazing sight was to see our young champs making their mark on the contest right from the beginning. fleimgruber was the first among the young geniuses to get his hand dirty on SMPAIR, but he was soon followed by lsmll, liuminghua, & mayukuner. In the first five minutes of the contest, we had all our top three on the rank tables. However, the ultimate victor of the contest was yet to be decided.
As the contest progressed, the battle for glory kept on growing intense. xuxianyou of Hangzhou Xuejun High School Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China was leading the rank tables in the final hour of the contest and it seemed as if he will go all the way with the contest. However, his schoolmate lsmll had other plans and in an interesting turn of events, he took over xuxianyou and finally emerged as the winner of the June LunchTime 2015. But they were not the only ones from China on the rank table, they were well accompanied by seven other of their countrymen. So, let’s meet our winners and find out who all stood were they.
Like always, let’s meet the non-Indians first:
Now our Indian top 10:
A big round of applause for all our winners of the June LunchTime 2014.
Now, let us give you the final figures for the contest:
While the young geniuses from China dominated the international rank table, the Delhites took over the Indian table. But ultimately the delicious competition between the young CodeCheffers from all different schools around the globe made it an utterly delicious entertaining anniversary lunch, and we thank all of you for it.
For deserts, we have the editorials for the problems ready soon after the contest, and if you haven’t tasted them yet, we suggest you do that now.
Now, after the first anniversary LunchTime, it is time to start working towards the contests to come and hope for many such wonderful years to come. So, that will be all from us for now, if you have any queries, or quarrels, feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be back soon with the stories from the contests from July.
Till then, Zài jiàn.
CodeChef through its inspiring initiatives has always been encouraging programmers across the country. NITK Surathkal has had some really good coders but the “coding culture” as they say, has never been so prominent. When some of us met Anup Kalbalia and members of Team CodeChef at ACM-ICPC Kharagpur and Amritapuri, we realised that the key to the success of a college lies on how it prepares and how motivated members of the teams are. Another striking observation was that the first and second years of college, especially the summer holidays are the best times to hone our coding skills and get really good at competitive programming.
With this insight, NITK CodeChef Campus Chapter started laying more emphasis on spreading awareness on CodeChef and Competitive Programming among the first and second years. During the course of this academic year, we had talks which aimed at introducing students in college to competitive programming. We had a talk on the importance of competitive programming and an introduction to CodeChef and other online judges. Those who attended the talk were amazed by the joy that one gets upon solving problems and seeing your solution getting the green tick. A hands-on session was conducted to help beginners understand the way an online judge works, input-output formats and other subtle details that one needs to know to get started on online judges. Experienced coders shared their experience about how they got inspired to code and how it helped them gain familiarity with commonly used algorithms. Training methods and perseverance were found to be the key to success. The sessions aimed at motivating juniors in college to start competitive programming and prepare for ACM-ICPC in advance.
As we come to the end of the academic year, we feel it has been very promising in terms of participation and enthusiasm among members of NITK-CCCC to learn. We came up with an innovative idea of running a live blog to post tutorials and learning resources. http://nitkcccc.wordpress.com/ is our website and we have been receiving tutorial entries to be published on the blog. We feel that sharing one’s learning experience on a particular topic helps others understand in a better way and creates a healthy learning environment. We presently have tutorials on String Theory, Matrix Multiplication, Dynamic Programming, Graph Theory, STL to name a few. We believe that these tutorials have given a great perspective into different ideas and approaches that different people have to grasp a concept.
We had a series of talks on competitive programming with hands-on problem solving sessions. Ideas and hints to solve related problems to solve the problems on CodeChef were provided. Mentorship to students from the first and second years was something we were able to achieve with fair success. The Facebook group was utilised to spread awareness about talks, contests on CodeChef and other informative articles that would be highly beneficial in the long run. The talks are being conducted by those who were a part of the ACM-ICPC teams this year. We feel that such sessions will help all members to learn most data-structures and algorithms required for competitive programming in a better way.
Conducting local contests on CodeChef has been a regular feature on our agenda. We had an exclusive contest “So You Think You Can Code ?” for the first year students apart from other local contests. This was aimed at getting the first years introduced to competitive programming. We held two international events on CodeChef. INSCRIPTION 2013 is a premier event of NITK’s annual technical fest ENGINEER, during the month of October. TUXCODER was held in April 2014 as a part of the coding week – Tuxride and received an overwhelming response with enthusiastic participation across the globe.
The year 2013-2014 has been a great one for NITK CodeChef Campus Chapter – lot’s of enthusiasm and participation, highest number of teams representing NITK at ACM-ICPC till date, highest rank of an NITK team at ACM-ICPC , members of the chapter securing a top 20 finish in CodeChef Long Challenges, plenty of informative sessions and a website to learn from each other . The coding culture in NITK has never been so prominent and we wish to thank CodeChef for its support and initiatives.
Some promising words from our budding first years:
Chinmay Deshpande, 1st year IT – “I was interested in coding but competitive programming was completely new. I made many errors while submitting my first program on CodeChef, but attending the sessions conducted by the NITKCCCC really helped me submit more efficient solutions. Great job from the seniors. Hope I can contribute the same during my next year as a sophomore ”
Abraham Gerard Sebastian, 1st year CS – “My interest in competitive programming started when I first participated in the INOI in my 11th but this still wasn’t helpful enough to do satisfactorily. But, the regular sessions have not only improved my performance in the contests held on CodeChef but also increased my interest.”
Siddharth Dhananjay, 1st year Metallurgy – “I was interested in coding and computer science in general right from 10th/12th. However, after joining NITK did I hear about CodeChef and competitive programming in general. These sessions taught me a lot of new and useful concepts that are really helpful while solving problems on CodeChef. ”
Looking forward for a bigger year ahead !
(on behalf of NITK CodeChef Campus Chapter Team)
The start of June Cook-Off 2014 was clean and beautifully lit by the shine of few brilliant Cook-Offs we had hosted. We loved it. And would have been happier had it stayed that way. However, all those shiny moments turned into the ordeals during the course of the contest. What was the cause, you ask? We will let you know latter in the blog post, let us start with the good things first.
Before we move into the blog post, let us thank the ardent problem setting panel without whom, none of this would have been possible. Not the crash, the amazing June Cook-off that you enjoyed. The problem setter Constantine Sokol from Belarus, the problem tester Tasnim Imran Sunny from Bangladesh & the editorialist Praveen Dhinwa from India, cooked up some really yummy problems for everyone and we think you all enjoyed them to the fullest. The additional flavors of the problems in the form of Russian and Mandarin translation came from the terrific trio of Sergey Kulik and Minako Kojima & Gedi Zheng respectively. We thank them al for the wonderful delicacies they cook up contest after contest.
There was everything ready to go from the problem-setting panel and it was now up to the machines to do the work. As it turned out, they broke under the pressure. We have seen it in the past and we experienced it once again. We have had load issues in the past, but we addressed them. We thought that load issue was fixed long ago. In addition, some brilliant contests in the last 6 months resurrected that belief of ours. Therefore, we got a tad bodacious and reduced our servers. Thus, after the serene period of 6 months or so, we invited mayhem upon us. The decision to reduce servers backfired and backfired badly.
The mammoth load on the servers crushed them; as a result, we crashed even before the June Cook-Off started. The questions, queries, and the quarrels started floating on all possible mediums, and we immediately realized our mistake. And we tried our best to balance the unmanageable load on two extra servers. However, by the time we did that, the efforts of our problem-setting panel were marred by the technical glitch & most importantly, the valuable time of all the participants was wasted. We did extend the contest to make up for all that, however what was gone, was gone. The contest ran smoothly after the initial bump but let us tell you that a strong learning has been taken from this, and many such incidents and we hope that such things will not be repeated in the future. And on that note, let us take you through our rank tables for the June Cook-Off 2014 and meet the patient participants who emerged triumphant.
First the non-Indian top 10:
Now the Indian top 5:
Congratulations to all the winners.
Now, the final stats of the contest:
To have such numbers in a contest that had gone through a major glitch is just incredibly pleasing and we thank you all for it.
If you want to know in detail what went wrong during the June Cook-Off 2014 you can read the blog we wrote about it, immediately after the incident took place.
Alternatively, if you want to move ahead from that memory, you can relive the glorious moments of the June Challenge 2014 with us:
In addition to the two aforementioned tales, you can also go through the editorials of our July contests to sharpen up your programming skills a bit.
That brings us to the final section of the blog. We have a lot to talk to you about and we will be doing that in our coming blog posts, as you know we have some pending. So, while we pen down the new ones, feel free to get in touch with us for all your queries & quarrels at email@example.com
You can also dial us at (022) – 30797709 (Weekday’s between 11:00 am to 8:00 pm)
Hope to catch you all soon.
When we sat for June Challenge 2014, we had no idea what is waiting for us at the other end. We were optimistic, like always, and were hoping for a good contest, with some smiling faces in the end. However, as soon as we learnt that the contest is starting with eight problems, the number of smiling faces that we were expecting reduced. Now, all we wanted was a good, fun filled ten days of healthy competitive programming. And thankfully, we got that, actually we got more than we wanted.
The June Challenge 2014 was set by the experienced problem setting panel comprising Dmytro Berezin, Gedi Zheng, Istvan Nagy, Lalit Kundu, Sergey Kulik, Sergey Nagin, Vitaliy Herasymiv, and Vivek Hamirwasia. The problems were tested contest-ready by Shiplu Hawlader, who ensured that the problem set is well balanced to everybody’s skill level. The explanatory editorials for the problems came from Praveen Dhinwa, and we are sure by now you would have tasted them all. The spices in the form of Mandarin & Russian translations came from Minako Kojima & Gedi Zheng, and Sergey Kulik respectively. When you have such decorated problem-setting panel, a dazzling contest becomes obvious. And we were expectant of that too.
The June challenge might have started with eight problems in the offering, and they all were greeted graciously. The initial bombardment of submission was on CHEFZOT, which became the first problem to have an AC by dream_71 in the sixth minute of the contest. And after that, the submissions just kept on coming. Everyone wanted a piece of Chef and Subarray, and almost everybody got that. While the participants were having fun with Guessing Game, Forgot Password, Chef and Digit Jumps, and Maxim and Progressions our problem setters were busy garnishing the ninth & tenth problems. And soon the Little Elephant and Blocks and DARTS501 were on the table, ready to be munched on.
With all the ten problems in the offering, the game was full on, with everybody firing all their cylinders to top the tables. While the major fight in the Indian table was between triveni, akash4983, and anudeep2011, the international table was all about the triangular battle between mugurelionut, sokian, & kevinsogo. The view at the top of the table in the final days of the contest was rather usual, with not many unexpected names. However, triveni was one surprise package in the contest, and certainly someone to look forward to in the near future. To know who stood where when the contest ended on 16th June 2014, let us take you through the rank tables.
We start with the non-Indian top 10:
The Indian top 20:
We now move on to our special achievers category, and we start with the users who had highest scores for challenge problem DARTS501:
First, the non-Indian top 3:
Now our Indian winners:
Now it is turn to meet our young geniuses from schools.
First, the non-Indians top 5 schools students:
Now the Indian top 5 school students:
Give a big round of applause for all our June Challenge stars.
Now the final stats for the contest:
Those stats made the June Challenge 2014 the biggest long contest ever, we have had, and all thanks to you guys. You have always been a driving force for us, and will continue to remain so.
With that, we conclude this blog post. We will come back with more stories from the contest. But if you have any story of yours, or a feedback for us feel free to send them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also call us at: 022 – 30797709
That will be all folks.
See you at the contests.
With every LunchTime contest, we are seeing new names announcing their arrival at the big stage. Some of them have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the world-programming circle, while some others are in the process of paving their way to glory. Moreover, it gives us immense pleasure to have been a part of this wonderful journey that we all have embarked upon. There is still a long way to go, and we will come across many new names, many new champions along the way. And we will celebrate them all with the same joy & fervor. For now, it is time to relive the course of May LunchTime 2014.
The May LunchTime 2014 like all other LunchTime contests we have had started on a pleasing note, with not much rush. However, the urgency was there among the participants to emerge atop the rank list. And the fight was on right from the beginning. The first one to get the green tick of happiness was yutaka1999, Kaisei Junior High School and Senior High School, Japan who cracked the APPROX2 problem with his first submission in the seventh minute of the contest. However, after the initial bang, he had to wait for a good half an hour to see another of those green ticks.
Unlike yutaka1999, kaizero of Seoul Science High School, South Korea was not so lucky with his first submission and got his first accepted submission in the fifteenth minute on DIVSUBS. Now, he might have been a late bloomer in the contest, but after solving the first problem, kaizero never looked back and in next 30 minutes, he cracked the APPROX2 & BNGAME as well. With three problems in his kitty in the first hour of the contest, there were not many doubting kaizero as the winner for the May LunchTime. However, those on the rank tables had different thoughts.
Inside the first hour of the contest, we saw nihalpi1 of Late P.B. Jog Junior College, Pune closing up on kaizero and we got right behind him. Like we do for all our participants. Soon, yutaka1999 & zeulb overtook nihalpi1. Moreover, after the first hour of the contest it seemed as the final race to the top. However, kaizero did not made life easy for them in the fast lane and firmly held on to his position atop the rank table. Thus claimed his first ever LunchTime. Congratulations to him on his blistering performance. And to see where his counterparts stood on the rank tables, let us have a tour of the final rank list of our May LunchTime 2014.
We will start with the non-Indian top 10:
Now the Indian top 10:
Congratulations to all the winners.
Here are the final stats of the contest:
Both the rank tables, while had some familiar names, it was the new names that brought the real joy for us. kaizero, our winner was taking part only in his second LunchTime contest, and to have him sitting on top of the rank table will be an encouragement to many new comers. We are sure that the coming LunchTime contests will see many new names and many new winners.
With that, we put an end to the May LunchTime 2014 tale. We hope you all loved it, as much you loved and enjoyed the contest. However, if you still have any tales to tell or quarrels to quarrel, we would love to hear them all. So shoot them all at: email@example.com.
That will be all folks.
See you at the contests.
Bad days indeed! One more CookOff and one more letting you all down. This time we were prepared. We had learnt from our mistakes from the last CookOff and we knew what had to be done (or not done).
The contest started well. It was the contest, which bypassed all our expectations in terms of participation. Moreover, not only was the number of participants huge, it also brought in all the big names into it. And boy, it was a smooth start. In the first half an hour (which is our most testing time) into the contest we had equalled the previous best participation and without any glitch. We were living a dream.
Not for long! Suddenly the submission queue started going up after almost 45 minutes into the contest. And it never quite came down. We had to stop the contest and let the judge work in isolation. The ever robust and dependable SPOJ judge today gave in. We tried all that we could. Also added more servers, but the queue that had accumulated to 1300 pending submissions took close to 15 minutes to reduce.
It happened due to a couple of reasons.
1. The number of submissions were very very high.
2. More importantly, the number of test files for two problems were very high in number (close to 20). These problems had one test case per test file and that is a non optimal configuration for the SPOJ judge. Each test file spawns a new process for the judge and close to 20 test files for each submission in a short contest turned out to be a disaster.
There is also some unseen benefit at the end of the dark day. We have seen by far the highest participation (close to 2430 users making a submission versus 1774 being the previous highest in any contest). And the number of submissions being 11500 plus.
The final stats of the contest are here:
Total Users: 2437
Total Submissions: 11635
Number of distinct users with correct submissions: 2022
Total users from India: 2113
Total users not from India: 324
We are sad and we are sorry. How much cannot be expressed. But we are not giving up. We promise that the next CookOff will be without any glitch and will be a good one.
Cook-Offs are the real test of fortitude, of a programmer. This, because it does not give you long time to plan your move, and by the time you plan your move, your counterparts would have gone far beyond your reach. You need to be quick, and you need to be precise. This miraculous display of speed and accuracy is what makes them such a special occasion for the participants & for us. We have seen some thrilling Cook-Offs in the past, and the May Cook-Off 2014 certainly can be placed among them.
Before we proceed with the blog post & tell you how the contest was, let us thank the individuals responsible for it. The celebrated problem setting panel for the May Cook-Off 2014 featured names, which when you see them, you know an excellent contest is cooking up. The problem set came from the 2014 ACM ICPC world finalist Anudeep Nekkanti, which on its own was a highlight of the contest. Add to that, tester & Russian translator Gerald Agapov, in company with editorialist Praveen Dhinwa and you have the recipe of a contest of highest order. The Mandarin flavor of the problem set came from the pervasive Minako Kojima and Gedi Zheng. Thank you guys, for always being there for us all and delivering such splendid contests, one after another.
The May Cook-Off showed sparks of a great contest right from the first minute, as Gennady Korotkevich cracked ANUUND in his first attempt, in the first minute of the contest. This exemplary display of speed and accuracy, made it clear to all the participants that they have to be on their toes if they have to be any competition to him. This was a true test of talent and pedigree for many claimants of the throne. With the likes of Myongsu Cha, Andy Y.F. Huang, & Kazuhiro Hosaka on the rank tables, it certainly was never going to be a cakewalk for the Cook-Off-pro Gennady as well. Or so we thought. As it turns out, it actually was a cakewalk for Gennady, as it took him only six submissions to crack the five problems and seal the victory. Remember we talked about pace & precision, this exactly is what we were talking about.
While the other participants were busy piling up submissions on Ups and Downs, or trying hard to crack Build the Tree. Gennady was comfortably sitting atop the rank table, may be with a grin. Even the juggernauts like uwi, mugurelionut, ballon_ziq, Fdg, & many others had a tough time cracking all the problems. So, we were not surprised to see the low submission count and were pleased with the outcome on the rank tables.
While the non-Indian rank table had some familiar names going at each other, the Indian rank table was no different either. We had balajiganapath, the popular djdolls, smithinsu, xorfire & many others fighting it out for the top spot in the Indian table.
Let us take tour-de-rank-tables, to meet our winners and know who stood where when the clock struck 12.
We start with the non-Indian rank table:
Now the Indian rank table:
Congratulations to all the winners.
Now, here are the final stats of the contest:
That sums up the May Cook-Off 2014. The contest was a display of some fine artisanship from both, problem setting panel and participants. We hope you enjoyed every bit of it, as we did. To understand the best approach towards cracking those problems & many more to come, we suggest, you go through the editorials of the contest and try them once again in practice section.
With that we draw curtains on the May Cook-off 2014 and move towards yet another delayed blog post for May LunchTime 2014. It was our anniversary LunchTime, so we try and not to delay it any further and will come back soon with all the celebratory details.
Till next time, enjoy the beautiful monsoon around, and send us all your love, feedback, or your any monsoon trip you are planning at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to join you. You can also ring us at (022) – 30797709 (On weekdays from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm)
Long Challenges are special. They have always been like that. To us and we are sure to many of you. And we all have our own sweet reasons for that. If you are a beginner, you will cherish them for all the learning that you get out of them, while if you are a pro, it gives you enough time to polish, plan, and present your best move. Whichever side of spectrum you are in, we love seeing you all fight it out during the ten days of our Long Challenges.
With all that, our May Challenge 2014 was a special one for one more reason. It was the first instance when a premier institute in Indian had introduced CodeChef in their admission curriculum. Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT-Delhi) in one of its kind move required the M. Tech applicants to take part in our May Challenge 2014. The entire details of the program can be read here. We thank the management of IIITD and hope the applicants had a great time participating in the contest.
Now, let us have a tour-de-May Challenge 2014. The post has already been delayed for quite a long time, so, without further adieu we will try to cover as many highlights of those ten days in as few words as possible.
The May Challenge started on a pleasing note with two accepted submissions inside the first five minutes of the contest. Both were on OJUMPS, which turned out to be the easiest problem and received around 4.5k submissions during the course of the competition. Newbies making their first submission in the contest enjoyed the easier problems in the first half of the contest, which is always a great sign. Problems that saw maximum submissions during the contest were Stone, Compilers and parsers, and Chef and Strange Matrix. We hope you enjoyed them too.
After the easy first half, the race to the top of the rank table got serious with avolchek and djdolls making it tough for their rivals to dethrone them. And after ruling the rank tables in the first half of the contest, this was expected of them. However, it was not a smooth sail even for them. They too had a tough time solving the mystery of Sereja and Subsegment Increasings. And to add to their woes there was The Malaysian Flight Search. And while djdolls successfully defended his rein atop the rank tables, avolchek fell over the precipice of aawisong & mugurelionut ending up at third place in the contest. However, in the end, it was beautiful last leg of the contest to watch. And to know who stood were in the rank tables. Let us take you through them.
We will start with the non-Indian top ten:
Now, the Indian top twenty:
We now move on to our special achievers category.
And we start with the top three Indians with highest scores in challenge problem:
The non-Indian top three:
Now let us meet our little geniuses from schools.
Firstly, the non-Indian top five:
And our Indian top five;
Congratulations to all you brilliant minds. We hope you enjoyed the contest.
All those names in the rank tables made their way through a thick galore of participants from all quarters of the globe. It is worth mentioning that the May Challenge 2014 saw the highest number of participation in any our Long Challenges. And to give you a clear perspective here are the final stats of the contest:
With that whooping figures and plenty of M. Tech aspirants starting their programming journey in the new academic session, the May Challenge 2014 concluded. And left behind so many fond memories to cherish for us all in the coming time. We hope you too have a story or two to share about the May Challenge, and we would love to hear them. So, if you want you can share them with us at email@example.com.
With that, let us bring curtains down on the May Challenge 2014. However, not before we take you to the editorials for the May Challenge 2014. Enjoy the knowledge-filled editorials and sharpen you programming skills for the coming contests.
That is all from CodeChef’s kitchen. Send us your queries & quarrels, while we prepare the next blog post, the May Cook-off 2014.
Till then, adios people.
See you at the contests.
We goofed up. It was avoidable.
This is not the first goof-up that we have faced in a short contest. We have been there and done that. Specially the starting load during a CookOff has been a long standing problem for us. Sometimes the DB was unable to handle our complicated queries while at other times we were syn attacked! The result each time used to be the same. Pissed-off contestants at the start of the contest got soothed by the end by a usually good problem set (which we have no credit to take for but for our awesome problem setters).
We had tried to replicate the load at the start and fix things in our dev environment, but something or the other got left out. There used to be a time, when we would findan issue in a Cook-Off, fix it and then wait for the next CookOff to find the next one. It happened for a while until we took control of things, changed our application architecture, and moved to a new infrastructure!
Just a few days ago a couple of interns had joined the team and I was narrating this whole chain of events to them about how we had to be extremely alert and almost pray to god each time for the first 15 minutes that nothing goes wrong. The ordered food used to get cold in an eternal wait before it could draw our attention on this Sunday night of every month.
And how things have changed since last 6 months where we just think about googling the best restaurants to order the finest food for the 6 of us. And how things have to go wrong this very CookOff!
Among the changes that we had made, now we run our servers on AWS infra. Over the last six months, for our CookOff, we have been running four c3.2xlarge web instances in front of a MySQL RDS instance to handle the ever-growing load.
The load has been keeping well below 1 on these 8 core machines and hence we thought why not test with reducing a couple of servers this time. This was out of sheer curiosity as we have mostly been unable to accurately replicate the load and the behaviour of what happens in the first 5 minutes of our CookOff. Things boomeranged and we all know what ensued. The load shot up to unmanageable proportions and balancing it on the two additional servers took a lot of time.
No, we do not take our production setup very casually as it may sound. And not that we are considering this very lightly. The contest has been extended and things are back on track. And we are left embarrassed. This foolhardy of ours have not only wasted the entire contestant’s time, it also undid the huge effort of our problem setters. We apologise. It was certainly an avoidable situation.