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acm programming

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hi , I am a CS student currently in my junior year at college. I have recently started learning openGL as I had grown interest towards computer graphics after getting into college. I know a lot of CS students who had started solving(or attempt to) ACM problems (available at "http://uva.onlinejudge.org/" and other similar sites) since the begining of college or even b4. Due to my lack of interest and also not being a total math geek (no offense) I never got into that. But by doing this have I somehow taken a wrong decision? I mean is solving this types of problems almost mandatory to become a good programmer? As I have said that I have huge interest towards computer graphics and I intend to do my masters on computer graphics, will solving these problems help me exclusively? As I am in my junior year and have just stared openGL , I know that I have a long way to go.... and I dont have too much time. So, I want to concentrate on a specific subject. I am at this moment pretty much frustrated!!! Can anyone suggest me anything ? Plus can anyone say what fields in programming should I try to become strong at (like AI,data structures,grahics (ofcourse)... ) ? HELP PLZ ???

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Being a total Math geek helps a lot with being a really good programmer, but it's probably not a requirement.

There are different types of learners. The ACM problems helped me learn a lot of algorithms and gave me good general skills for coding solutions to small programming problems. However, if you find them boring, you can probably just concentrate on the things that interest you, and you'll learn what you need to learn along the way.

Also note that the ACM problems don't help with your design skills and don't encourage writing maintainable code. Make sure you participate in a few projects with other people to gain those skills.

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Yeah. ACM competitions are excellent practice. 90% of the problems emphasize how tricky simple sounding requests can be. They also show the importance of following instructions and meeting project requirements. Most the problems are about how you can turn real problems you might encounter back into a simple algorithm or data structure.
You could also try out the ones presented at TopCoder. The TopCoder site has a nice gui applet aswell that you can use to submit your answers to the problems, and see how you did.

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Thanks for the replies guys. Actually I have very little time to concentrate on two things. As I am guessing you did graphics programming, I would like to know what did you guys practice to develop your language skills for openGL. What do you suggest to me ? should I learn any other language? people say that openGL is dead and I am really confused whether learning it would be a total waste of time or not? And for some reason I feel like its too late for em to start with ACM. Am i right? Actually I am totally clueless about what to do.

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Quote:
Original post by sandblasted
Thanks for the replies guys. Actually I have very little time to concentrate on two things. As I am guessing you did graphics programming, I would like to know what did you guys practice to develop your language skills for openGL. What do you suggest to me ? should I learn any other language? people say that openGL is dead and I am really confused whether learning it would be a total waste of time or not? And for some reason I feel like its too late for em to start with ACM. Am i right? Actually I am totally clueless about what to do.

Why would openGL be dead if that's all Macosx not to mention tons of Linux/Unix distro's use for 3D!

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