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ACM Programming Contest
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Frequently Asked Questions

Other FAQ links:
Baylor University
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Please note that some of what is said here is specific to the Central European Region. Some policies may be different in other regions. In any case, the Regional Contest Director makes the final decisions, so it is always a good idea to ask her if you are in doubt.

List of Questions

Team composition, application procedures

  • Is a team composed of students from different universities possible?
  • Does a team really need a Reserve? What is its role?
  • How do teams apply if there is a local contest at their university after the registration deadline?
  • Is a participation in an other than the assigned Region possible?
  • What is the difference between Faculty Advisor and Team Coach?
  • What is the CTU Open Contest?

The actual competition

  • Are contestants allowed to talk to their Coaches during the actual Contest?
  • What will the exact computing environment be?

After the end

  • How can participants obtain a copy of the sample solutions and the files used for judging?
  • How do teams obtain a copy of their files produced during the Contest?
  • How many teams can advance to the World Finals?

Team composition, application procedures

Is a team composed of students from different universities possible?

No. It was possible some time ago, under several specific conditions. The rule was changed and "mixed" teams are no longer allowed.

Does a team really need a Reserve? What is its role?

A Reserve is really optional. Its main purpose is to have one more person who is certified to be eligible; just in the case that one of the regular team members cannot participate in the Contest (for example falls ill one day before the Contest).

How do teams apply if there is a local contest at their university after the registration deadline?

Since it is becoming more and more popular that individual universities organize a local contests to select their teams representing them at the Regional Contest (a very good preparation, by the way!), and since those contests are often one or two weeks before the Regional Contest (and therefore well after the application deadline), it is not possible for them to submit a complete application in time.
Therefore it is allowed to make a registration in two steps. At first, information about the University and Coach should be entered. This is important because we have to know the list of participating teams just one month before the Contest. The names of contestants can be entered at a later time.

Is a participation in an other than the assigned Region possible?

Generally it is. There is an assignment of countries to the regions, but we handle that quite flexible. The main goal is to enable the participation of as much teams as possible.
To participate in some other region, the team has to obtain the agreement of both involved Regional Contest Directors (of the assigned region, and of the region you want to join). Anyway, all the teams from the same university must always participate in the same region.

What is the difference between Faculty Advisor and Team Coach?

ACM Student Chapters have Faculty Advisors. ACM Programming Contests have Coaches. Coaches once were called Advisors but this lead to confusion.

What is the CTU Open Contest?

The CTU Open Contest is a preparation for the CERC. It is a local contest held at CTU Prague and its main goal is to choose the team representing CTU in Central European Regional Contest. To make the competition more interesting, the Contest is open for any Czech university.
The universities from the Czech Republic are not required to participate in CTU Open Contest. But it is strongly recommended, because the participants of CTU Open will be preferred in CERC if there are too many teams applied. Besides, it is a very good preparation.
The Contest Rules for CTU Open Contest are the same as CERC Rules. The only exception is that the contest language is Czech.

The actual competition

Are contestants allowed to talk to their Coaches during the actual Contest?
No, definitely not. Once the teams enter the contest area, they are well separated from all other people accompanying the teams (such as Coaches and Reserve).

What will the exact computing environment be?

There is a special web page describing the used computing environment. Please, see that page for more information.

After the end

How can participants obtain a copy of the sample solutions and the files used for judging?

After the Contest a special presentation of feasible algorithms for every given problem will be held. The source code of sample solutions and the test data will be published on the official web pages several days after the Contest. The source code of all submitted runs will be made available if conditions permit but this is not guaranteed.

Anyway, after publishing the test data, no objections or protest against the judge decisions are acceptable. The final standings cannot be changed then under any circumstances.

How do teams obtain a copy of their files produced during the Contest?

Also contain of home directories of teams will be published on these web sites.

How many teams can advance to the World Finals?

The Central European Region is granted one initial berth in the Contest Finals. The team on the first rank can advance to the Finals. If that team cannot or does not want to participate in the Contest Finals, the next team on the ranking list is given the berth.
Should the overall Contest Director award a second berth in the Contest Finals to the Central European Region, the best two teams can advance to the Finals. They must represent different educational institutions.