Craig Talbert's Weblog

Google Plus Facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS

The @uofdenver High School Computer Programming Contest

posted 09-27-2013 at 16:42

For fourteen years the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Denver hosted an annual competition for teams of students from local high schools in Colorado and nearby states to test their computer programming skills. Looking at the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, they stopped conducting it after 1998. That's when the link to information about it disappears from the department's homepage and a note is added at the bottom of the page:

The department will no longer be conducting the annual High School Programming Contest. We express our thanks to those who have participated over the years.

A page for the contest is also archived, but unfortunately it doesn't look like the Wayback Machine got to any of the files that were linked on it. There were posts announcing it on the co.general Usenet newsgroup in 1995 and 1997. Myself and two of my classmates, Sunjit and Lisa, were at the the thirteenth annual contest in 1997 representing Pomona Senior High School.

If I remember correctly, since unfortunately the rules don't seem to be archived anywhere, you could have a team of 1-3 people. Each team would have three hours to work about 5-7 problems. Your team would have to bring it's own computer and you could write the solutions in any language you'd like. I don't remember a rule saying that you couldn't connect to the Internet or BBSes during the competition, but back then, that would have been difficult to arrange. I don't recall if they let you bring any reference books, although I don't think we did. I believe you were scored on the number of problems you completed and the time you completed them in. This is what the schedule looked like in 1997 (followed by the problems and solutions from that year).

I'm trying to remember how they verified your solutions were correct. I vaguely remember us running 3½ inch floppies around. We were probably using Turbo Pascal or Turbo C++.

I was reminded of this recently as I've made a project out of scanning a lot of boxes of old documents I've saved, many of them dating back to when I was in high school. To practice for the competition DU made some problems from previous years available, and if you knew people who had been in the competition before sometimes they would xerox copies of them for you. I came across the problems we had from 1997, as well as practice problems from 1996, 1995, 1993, 1992 and 1989. The first one from 1996, T4LK TH3 T4LK, is still my favorite. :)

I'm sad DU isn't still hosting the contest, it was a lot of fun when I was in high school. Maybe if someone at the University of Colorado decided to start a contest like this, he or she could used these problems as a reference. Colorado is conspicuously missing from ACM's list of High School Programming Contests.

category: /hspc | click to comment (permanent link to this entry)

Very important rectangles

Creative Commons License Blogshares  BlogTopSites

XHTML Friends Network (XFN)

The Audio Prof, Digital News Test Kitchen, CU Libraries News, CU Money Sense, sciencegeekgirl, Exemplary Support (Chris Bell), Jeeg Salbian, Paul O'Brian University Communications CU ATLAS CU Boulder Career Services

This weblog is not meant to represent the University of Colorado in any respect; the information and opinions contained herein are solely my own.

powered by blosxom