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The 2012 Internet Problem Solving Contest
May 31, 2012 5:52 AM   Subscribe

The 2012 Internet Problem Solving Contest will begin in a couple of days. Read the rules if you want to join in or perhaps just enjoy delving into the archive of past years' problems.
posted by Wolfdog (14 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
(Found via reading about the Road Network Paradox aka Braess's paradox, which in turn leads to Bélády's anomaly which is the basis of the 2006 Librarian problem.)
posted by Wolfdog at 5:55 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've done many programming / problem solving contests and the IPSC is far and away the most interesting and fun one. Worth waking up before the 6am EST start for.
posted by parudox at 6:03 AM on May 31, 2012


How should a team look like?

So it's a grammar problem this year?
posted by Splunge at 6:04 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Worth waking up before the 6am EST start for.

Er, it's EDT right now. That's sort of inane pedantry and sort of relevant. I know why they gave the times in UTC, but it took me two tries to get the time difference because of daylight savings.

It also got me thinking about what the optimal start time would be, given, I suppose, the distribution of participants. But if there are people in the US and people in India, there's no way to do it without inconveniencing someone a bit.
posted by hoyland at 6:19 AM on May 31, 2012


These things are great to give to kids because it teaches them that being the smartest person on the block doesn't translate to being the smartest person on the Internet.
posted by DU at 6:24 AM on May 31, 2012


hoyland: "... but it took me two tries to get the time difference because of daylight savings. "
You do realize you can click the links with the start and end times and instantaneously get them displayed in the TZ of your liking, right?
posted by brokkr at 6:33 AM on May 31, 2012


Also, one year, there was a problem requiring one to figure out the result of some PostScript code. The guy on my team that solved that problem became intrigued enough about PostScript as a language that he programmed the Game of Life in it, which became internet famous enough to be slashdotted back when that meant something.
posted by parudox at 6:48 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh man, the previous problems look so sexy. But I am bad at commitment so I'll probably just do them outside a competitive atmosphere.
posted by muddgirl at 8:00 AM on May 31, 2012


There's a day long practice session tomorrow that can help people ease into the format and how it all works. Everything's the same, there's just fewer problems and no time constraint.
posted by parudox at 8:07 AM on May 31, 2012


Awww man it's games like these where I wish I spent more time studying computer algorithms in university. I had a money crunch and focused more on specific practical tech applications (which in the end did make me very employable,) but with I could have spent a few more years in the CS stream on theory.
posted by Theta States at 8:22 AM on May 31, 2012


Oh, man, that looks fun. If I didn't feel so guilty about shucking off research for yet another day (just came back from a long holiday), I would participate.

Actually, the problems look very good for anybody learning to program. Thanks for the link!
posted by tickingclock at 9:41 AM on May 31, 2012


These things are great to give to kids because it teaches them that being the smartest person on the block doesn't translate to being the smartest person on the Internet.

Or vice versa.

posted by erniepan at 11:04 AM on May 31, 2012


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posted by erniepan at 11:05 AM on May 31, 2012


You do realize you can click the links with the start and end times and instantaneously get them displayed in the TZ of your liking, right?

I was going to say I didn't parse them as links, which I didn't. But then there's a sentence right after that says click the damn links. I think I have a 'convert time zone' reflex that gets triggered instantly, before even getting to the next sentence.
posted by hoyland at 1:03 PM on May 31, 2012


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