2001 Regional Contest Report

<2000 | 2002>


In the South Pacific Region, we run the contest simultaneously at 9 sites, 7 in Australia and 2 in New Zealand.  The region is large geographically although it has a comparatively small population.  There is a 4 hour time difference between Perth in the west and New Zealand in the east, and to start the contest at the same actual time, we have 4 different local start times!

We again used PC Squared to administer the contest, and managed to have a live scoreboard operating for 7 of the sites.  We were not helped by an internet shutdown in Perth, but we coped!  Thanks to John Clevenger and his team, for their efforts in helping us make the connection.

Thanks also to ACM, particularly to Bill and Marsha Poucher who managed the registration system so well.

Finally, thanks to IBM whose sponsorship provided a souvenir bag for each team, and prizes for the top Australian and New Zealand teams.

Top Teams

Australian Champions: Alexandre Mah,  David Harvey and John Lai 
Harvey Tuch reserve
Coach Hossam El Gindy
University of New South
Wales
New Zealand Champions: Andres James, Ben Handley
and Edwards Jon
Coach Chris Handley
University of Otago


Scoreboard

Site Reports:
 

Adelaide from Paul Calder

This year we had 9 teams competing at the Adelaide site (up from 7 last year).  Following the success of the Adelaide University teams last year, the Flinders teams were keen to show what they could do.

Although the contest start was delayed by technical hitches, once we were underway the teams quickly settled in to serious thinking and programming.  Our first correct submission landed on the judge's desk around 37 minutes into the contest. By the time the pizzas arrived at half-time, we had 2 teams with 3 correct submissions and several others with 2. By the time the clock stopped, we had 23 correct submissions, with 4 from 2 teams and 3 from 4 others.  The contest for the local champions came down to time penalties, with a mere 8 minutes separating the top two teams.  And yes, this year the Flinders teams took out the first 3
places.  No doubt, Adelaide will be out for revenge next year.

Problem P1 proved to be the easiest, with all but one team submitting a successful solution. Problem P2 was also popular, with correct solutions from 7 teams.  Problems P3 and P4 were each solved by 4 teams.  Of course, several teams insist that they were close to solving other problems but
were beaten by the clock!

After the initial technical problems, the contest went smoothly, thanks to the support of technical staff, judges, and helpers. In particular, PC2 made the submission and judging process very simple.

Overall, most people reported that they enjoyed the day, found the contest worthwhile and stimulating, and would be interested in competing again in future. From the university's point of view, we were very happy to be
involved in the contest and have every intention of hosting again next year.

 

Auckland from Phil Robbins

This year the contest moved to Auckland University of Technology's new Learning Centre, and all 12 teams competed in the same room.  As usual we had a healthy contingent of teams from University of Auckland and University of Waikato, including the  New Zealand Programming Contest winners.  The hosts were also represented .

Our first correct submission came in after 11 minutes.  It was good to see that every team managed to solve at least 2 problems.  Unfortunately, the live scoreboard meant they could all see the Otago team running away from them to claim the New Zealand place in the finals!  Our top team managed 5 solutions, a creditable effort.

We had a good turn out of helpers from the competing universities.  Thanks to Michael Dinneen and Radu Nicolescu from Auckland, and Bill Rogers from Waikato who did the judging, to Gordon Grimsey, Anne Philpott, Nural Sarkar and Bernard Fong from AUT who helped with the contest,  to Raewyn Boersen who presented the awards, and to Paul Fallon, Brian Green and Aterea Brown who provided technical help in setting up the contest and on the day.

PC2 worked well and made contest administration much easier.  We were able to make presentations to our site winners soon after the contest.

 

Brisbane from Chris Ho-Stuart
15 teams competed at the Brisbane site, representing Bond University, Griffith University, Queensland University and the Queensland University of Technology.

Queensland University took out the local honours, with two of the teams solving five problems each, and with no team failing to solve some problem.

A big thank you to the many people who helped make the day a success. IBM sponsorship and giveaways were greatly appreciated. Local financial software developer, GBST, supported all Brisbane teams with their entry fees. These companies have a major interest in keen information technology undergraduates!

Coaches from all competing universities came along to cheer on their teams and help running the event. The PC2 judging system worked well and enabled us to manage a smooth flow of solutions and responses. A good day was had by all, and all the Universities will be keen to try again next year.

 

Canberra from Eric C McCreath
The day began with a bad smell in the air. This was "trigde the fridge"(an old fridge that was in the lab area) who had died a few days earlier.  So the aroma of bad milk filled the lab area.  So our first and most important task was to dispose of "trigde the fridge".  This improved things greatly, either that, or we just became use to the smell.  From this point onwards everything went very well.

The students had decided that sandwiches would be better than filling up pizza.  So we dug into some food before the contest started.   Our Systems guy found this hard to understand, insisting that  real programming required pizza, chips, and coke.

Overall the contest went very smoothly, with all the teams turning  up an working hard to solve these diabolical problems.   The local results are as follows:

1st place : Implausible Solutions   -- solved 5 problems with a time penalty of 616
    team members : Kevin Easton, Matthew Duggan, Paul Hampson - A group of engineering students

2nd ANU D -- also solved 5 problems with a time penalty of 802
    team members : Matthew Sheppard, David Price, David Excell - A group of third year students

3rd Think Tank -- solved 4 problems with a time penalty of 806
    team members : Matthew Firth, David Hellier, Filip Radlinski - A group of fourth year students

I would like to thank all the teams for turning up and making it a  great day.  I would also like to thank the follow:

  • The department for paying for the 5 teams to enter into the contest.
  • IBM for sponsoring the contest.
  • The ACM and the team of people who help run this contest each year.
  • Ramesh Sankaranarayana - the site director for organizing all the teams and  their registration.
  • Bob Edwards - Getting the submission software working (this task made solving the  programming problems look simple). Also for all his efforts in moving computers around.

 

Dunedin from Chris Handley

This year we had seven teams, about the same as last year. We welcomed a team from Southland Institute of Technology -- the first time a team from there has attended the South Pacific, but I suspect not the last. We missed the usual contingent from Canterbury, but I have not been able to find out why.

Following the disaster of the testing session, I think the decision to revert to the previous version of PC^2 was good. The software worked very well and stood up to the load well. After some fine tuning of the scripts
during the morning practice session, we were typically turning submissions around within a minute. The semi-automatic updating of the score board worked well from our end, although we could usually plot Auckland's load by the length of time it took an update to appear. A fully automatic system would be great but, failing that, a system such as this years but that relieved some of the burden on the central site would be very useful.  Having access to the scores around the region (even without Perth and Adelaide) acted as a great spur to our teams.

Congratulations to The Three Mousketers on their effort. Congratulations also to the two UNSW teams for their great performances, and also to Fish from Launceston. Lets hope we do get a wild card in spite of Raewyn's
doubts, they will be worthy opponents in the tussle for the South Pacific Championships in Hawaii next year.

Thanks to all who made this a memorable event -- our local judges Ken Sutton and Michael Albert, Stewart Fleming who kept the software running and kept bugging Auckland to update the scoreboard and to all the team in Auckland for keeping the scoreboard as up to date as they could and still managed to handle the judging and other problems on their site.
 

 

Launceston from Mike Cameron-Jones

This year saw an increase in the number of teams at the Launceston site, with 3 each from the University of Tasmania's Hobart and Launceston campuses, all from the School of Computing.  Hobart's "Code Worriers" (Jonathan Adamczewski, Adam Eijdenberg and Mark Hankey) made an impressive debut, initially taking the site lead with a blazing start, and ultimately finishing second with 4 problems. However, it was Launceston's "Fish" (Michael Horton, Daniel Hulme and Douglas Partridge) who pegged them back to the extent that by the 3 hour mark it seemed to be all over on the site front, and the question was how "Fish" would fare at the regional level.  It looked promising on the day, so the team has a nerve-wracking wait for the final regional results.

With all teams on the site solving at least two problems, and no requests for clarification being made, both teams and judges owe a special thanks to the head judge.  At the site level, I'd like to thank Robyn Gibson
for the judging, Tony Gray and John Bluhdorn for the technical work, and Jeni Paay and Richard Bergman for the food.

 

Perth from Hong Xie

The 2001 ACM South Pacific Regional Programming Contest was successfully completed in Murdoch campus together with other 8 sites in region.  Despite the problem with internet (Murdoch was cut off from the Internet during the contest, because Optus upgrade their Perth section of AARNET network), Perth site went on very well, albeit an extremely busy one as the judging process was conducted manually.

This year we have wider representation in the contest. As usual UWA contributed most teams including 7 teams from the Department of Computer Science and one team from Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Curtin University has participated in the contest for the first time in the history of the contest, with two teams. Murdoch has contributed three teams. One of the teams from Curtin won the top position in Perth. They solved four problems out of nine. Two teams from the Department of Computer Science in UWA won
the second and third positions in Perth (with four and three problems). The results of the top five teams
in Perth are
 

Team University Solutions Time
BEng(SE) Curtin University
4
687
Extra Funky  UWA
4
941
Miranda  UWA
3
293
hAcK-o-mAtic  Curtin University
3
557
Don't Take Our Food Luigi!  UWA
3
626

This event would not be successfully without the help of many people. My thanks to all who supported this event. Here my thanks particularly go to Glenys and John Hoar, Debi Lorkin for organising catering, signage, printing and photocopying, and liaison with campus services and security, to Mark Reynolds, Shri Rai and Du Huyhn for acting as judges. Their service was extremely important in generating an accurate and fair outcome for all contestants. The judging process was also extremely busy as everything was done manually due to the lack of Internet connection and failure of the contest program PC2, to Sid Bartle and Royce Jenkins who provided an excellent technical support. In particular Sid has set up all the lab accounts, installed all contest software. He has spent several weekends and nights preparing the lab platform for the contest. We have received generous help during the contest from coaches from UWA and Curtin, including Luigi Barone, Brian von Konsky,
John Bui and Voon-Li Chung.

I would like to thank Shamim Khan who has provided me with numerous advices and guidance during the preparation of this event. I would also like to thank Professor Tom Gedeon for his willingness to allow Murdoch to host this event.

I have received support from many people from other sites. Here I'd like especially thank
Phil Robbins and  Raewyn Boersen. Finally I would like to thank our sponsor IBM who provided generous financial support to the contest.

 

Sydney from Bob Kummerfeld

The Sydney site hosted 9 teams - 4 from UNSW and 5 from the University of Sydney. The competition went very smoothly with very few technical hitches, mainly due to the efforts of our support staff. Greg Ryan in particular spent a lot of time before the contest getting PC2 installed and the judging scripts working well.

We provided a continuous supply of food and drink but the teams took very few breaks, preferring to stick to the task for the full 5 hours.

Congratulations to the two UNSW teams, 7 problems solved out of 9 is an amazing result, and good luck in the world final! The Sydney site produced 4 teams in the top 10 for the region, a fantastic performance overall.

We would be happy to host the competition again next year and will strongly encourage other Universities in the Sydney area to send teams.