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General Programming Contest Ideas!?

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Hey everyone, I'm a university student and next year I'm going to try to get some programming competitions going at my school. I was wondering if anyone had done this before, and if they have what kind of ideas would be useful to help further people's experience for programming. I plan on coming up with some on my own, but also was wondering what kind of ideas others had. Considering the mass amount of students don't do game programming I needed something that could be more general (I guess we could do a text-adventure console game, but...). I'd like to have two types of projects... one which could be done in say a few hours (yet still test knowledge/creativity, etc) and another which would be done in say two-weeks time. It would be nice if the idea was language independent and that the difficulty level could be anywhere from Sophmore to Senior in the college level (preferably all levels could contribute, the Seniors might just be more fancy than the Sophmores). I want to promote enjoyment of programming and there wouldn't be a prize but would more give us CS majors more experience. Thanks :)

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Does it really have to be completely language independent? I mean, you'll obviously have to restrict it to a couple of languages, preferably that the judges are experts in.

C,C++ and Java would probably be the obvious choices.

Anyway, you need to just sit down for a day and just take a look at other programming competitions on the net so you can get a basic idea of good questions.

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You could still make it game/graphics related though. For instance, how about an algorithm to compute axis-aligned bounding box or optimally aligned bounding box. That could totally be done in console mode without any graphics and without any prior knowledge.

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But you have to make sure that you can come up with something that can't easily just be googled and come up with a perfect answer and code to go with.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Ask google for ACM Programming Contest, its a worldwide event, based in time limited problem solving. Would be easy to get lot of examples.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Ask google for ACM Programming Contest, its a worldwide event, based in time limited problem solving. Would be easy to get lot of examples.

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that's funny you mention ACM because that's the organization that i'm doing the competitions for... however these won't local or state wide competitions, but rather just competitions in our school :)

thanks for the replies, i have a good amount of time for next year, so i have plenty of time to prepare!

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