Mercer University will host its thirteenth Spring Programming Contest on February 24, 2018. Our contest is modeled after the Southeast Region ACM's Programming Contest while encouraging first year students to get involved. We will continue to offer our Judge Apprentice Program where experienced students can work with the judges.
For a fourth year we are coordinating our competition around the size of each team's Computer Science Department. Teams from departments deemed "Large" will compete with each other, while teams from departments deemed "Small" will compete with each other. Departments will be deemed "Large" if they have 15 or more than faculty. Departments will be deemed "Small" if they have fewer than 15 faculty.
Registration will remain open until all seats are filled.
Earlier Problem sets:
2005 (Contest ),
2006 (Contest ),
2008 (Contest, Standings ),
2009 (Contest, Standings ),
2010 (Contest, Standings ),
2011 (Contest, Standings ),
2012 (Contest, Standings ),
2013 (Contest, Standings ),
2014 (Contest, Standings ),
2015 (Contest, Standings ),
2016 (Contest, Standings )
2017 (Contest, Standings )
This contest was designed to be a positive learning experience for undergraduate programming teams. We encourage participation from students who are new to programming competitions.
Our format is modeled after the ACM Regional Competitions.
- We will have four divisions this year. Within each school size (Large or Small), there will be two Divisions of competition: Junior (completed CS-1 only) and Senior (all others).
- Each school can initially register up to three teams with no more than two in the Senior Division.
- Space is limited and will be assigned in the order of completing registration (online form + fee payment + submission of a problem for consideration in the contest).
- Teams will consist of up to three students.
- Participants must be students at the sponsoring school.
- Each team will have access to one of our lab machines (machine specifications to come shortly).
- C, C++, Python, and Java will be supported. Other suggestions will be considered - time permitting.
- Teams may use any non-electronic reference materials that they bring to the contest.
- There will be a 45 minute practice period to familiarize teams with the environment.
- The contest will consist of approximately 10 problems to be worked on during a five hour period.
- We will provide a common problem set to Senior and Junior teams.
- Submissions will be judged as one of: Correct, Syntax error, Run-time error, Time limit exceeded, Wrong answer, or Presentation Error.
- Standings among teams in each School Size/Division will be determined by the standard ACM guidelines: the most correct problems solved, penalty points will break ties. Penalty points are calculated as: one point for each minute it takes to submit a correct solution and twenty points for incorrect submissions.
- Judges reserve the right to disqualify any team they deem behaving badly.
- Awards will be given in each School Size/Division.
Travel to Mercer University in Macon, GA. Use Google's Map and navigate to: 1400 College St, Macon, GA 31201.
Once to campus use Mercer's Map of Campus.
The contest will be held in the Computer Science building (#16 on the map), and lunch and our group meetings will be held in the Student Center (#22 on the map).
Parking may be tight. You should be able to find a spot around Tattnall Square Park. Once you arrive to campus, you should proceed to "Check-in" at the Computer Science Building.
"Check-in" begins in the Computer Science Building. You will be given a workspace, a computer account, and a password. A light breakfast will be provided.
Welcome and Informational Meeting begins. We will meet in Conference Room III of the Student Center. This room is upstairs from the main entrance to the Student Center, and in the front, left, corner. Signs will be posted.
Practice begins in the Computer Science Building. Teams will be given sample problems to work and submit for evaluation. This time is more about learning the environment than problem solving.
Lunch is provided at Mercer's Fresh Food Company
which is located in the Student Center. Take your "Meal Ticket" for free entry. Alternatively you may choose to purchase lunch at any one of
Mercer's other dining options: Chick-fil-A, Which Wich, Panda Express, Einstein Bagles, Farmer's Market, and more.
Review of contest guidelines and a short question/answer period will be conducted in Conference Room III of the Student Center.
Finally, the Contest begins in the Computer Science Building.
Awards Presentations will be made in Conference Room III of the Student Center.
Registration is not complete without All Three Steps being met.
- Each team must fill out the online Registration Form: Click the "Register Now!" button below.
- Each team must send the registration fee for each person attending the contest (student/teacher/judge):
Each sponsoring school must contribute to the development of the contest problem set:
- Fee received by January 15, 2018: $15/person.
- Fee after January 15, 2018: $25/person.
- Make checks payable to: Mercer University.
- Submit a problem description, good test cases, and a software solution, for consideration in this year's set of problems.
- When you register online, a Google Drive folder will be shared with the email listed during registration. Your problem submission materials should be placed in this shared folder - preferably using the supplied Google Docs template.
- Work with another judge to review each other's submission (you will be paired up).
- Participate in the judging during the competition
- Submissions and supporting materials should be uploaded to your "Shared Contest Folder" by Monday January 15, 2018.
Each team's sponsor must assist in the judging of the contest. You will be responsible for judging the problem you submitted. Of course, all judges tend to help each other throughout the contest.
Mercer Spring Programming Contest
c/o Bob Allen
Department of Computer Science
Macon, Georgia 31207
Judge Apprentice Program
Mercer's Spring Programming Contest offers a program that allows limited student participation in the judging process during the programming contest. Faculty advisors may select a responsibly mature senior student who has previously competed in a similar programming contest to shadow them through the judging process. Our Apprentice Judge Program allows the selected apprentices to participate in some or all of the following activities as mentored/monitored by their faculty sponsor:
- Work with their faculty sponsor to develop a problem to submit to this competition. This problem must be independent from the problem being submitted by the sponsoring faculty member.
- Work with their faculty sponsor to develop good test case data sets to be used in judging the problem.
- As needed, work with the contest's chief judge in making revisions to the problem and test data.
- During the contest, work with their faculty sponsor in judging problems. Since there is no guarantee that every submitted problem will actually be used at the contest, the apprentice may be helping their faculty sponsor judge someone else's problem.
- As needed, the apprentice may be asked to perform other official duties during the contest (i.e. handing out problem sets at the beginning of the contest, posting errata in the contest rooms, etc...).
Note to Faculty Sponsors: by signing up an Apprentice Judge, you are stating that you are willing to provide the necessary mentoring before, during and after the contest.