Contest Details


  1. To log on to PC^2, enter your PC^2 username, which is the word "team" followed by your team number (for example, team1 or team23).Your PC^2 password will be handed out prior to the contest. (There will be a separate login for Linux, which is site-specific.)
  2. PC2 will now provide ‘preliminary judgments’ on most, if not all, submitted runs. These judgments are provided by an automated validation program and are NOT the final judgment on the problem. Human judges will still run and judge all submissions, and may overrule the preliminary judgment. The human judge’s decision will be the one recorded in the system. The preliminary judgment notification window will be CLEARLY LABELED (in BIG RED LETTERS) as the preliminary judgment. Do not celebrate (or despair) until you receive the final judgment from the human judges, as it is possible that the human judges may accept a run that the validator did not, and vice versa.  That said, if you get a preliminary judgment of yes, you should feel pretty good about your submission.
  3. Do not close any of the windows on the taskbar that you did not open yourself – they are processes for the contest software and closing them will log you out of the contest.
  4. Place your team number at top of all source files you create.  If you print your source, a runner will use this number to bring you your printout.
  5. There is a work directory on the desktop that you can use for all your files.
  6. It is recommended that you use PC^2 to compile your code before you submit, as the judges will use PC^2 to compile your code.  Note that PC^2 is tied into the compilers for the contest.
  7. It is recommended that you use the language-specific equivalent of “exit(0)” at the end of your program (whatever is used to denote a ‘normal’ program termination in your language of choice). This is due to the fact that the definition of "run-time error" varies between computer systems and languages.  PC^2 currently interprets a run-time error to be equivalent to "the process returned a non-zero exit code". So, if a particular compiler, or OS library, or language library, or whatever returns ANY non-zero exit code, it will be interpreted by the automated validator as "run-time error", even if your program runs to completion and provides the correct output. To avoid this ambiguity, adding the normal exit code is recommended. (Note – this is not new behavior for PC^2 – we’re just explicitly calling it to your attention.)

  8. Each problem has a time limit associated with it.  This time will be specified at the top of the problem.
  9. Source can be in multiple files, but these must be in same directory, and they must all be submitted to PC^2.
  10. All problems that require input will read input from standard input (stdin, cin, -- the keyboard).  All output is to stdout (the monitor).
  11. After the contest, you may use external storage devices to save your code, or you may use email or FTP, if internet access is re-enabled at your site.


1.      Scoring is based on submission times and penalties.

2.      The score for each problem solved is the elapsed time from the start of the contest until that (version of the) problem was submitted.

3.      If you submit multiple incorrect solutions before getting a ‘yes’, 20 minutes will be added to your score for each incorrect submission.

4.      If you never solve a problem, no penalty minutes are accrued for submissions for that problem.

5.      Winning:

a.      The team that solves the most problems wins. 

b.      If two or more teams solve the same number of problems, the team with the lowest score wins.

c.      If two teams have the same number of problems solved and the same score, the team with the earliest correct submission wins.

Contest Schedule  

9:00-10:00AM >Team check in

10:00-11:00AM > Orientation/instructions

11:00-12:00PM > Practice contest

12:00-1:00PM > Debriefing/Q&A

1:00-6:00PM >THE CONTEST!

6:30 - ??PM > Dinner and awards


We will adhere as closely as possible to the schedule, but all 6 sites must be ready to start the contest at the same time. If one site has technical difficulties, we will all wait until they are cleared up. Regardless of the start time, the contest will run 5 hours from its commencement, unless extreme circumstances force otherwise.