I'm here in Orlando to coach the University of New South Wales team in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest world finals. A team of three uni students gets a computer and five hours to solve nine or ten really tough problems. (See last year's set, for instance). The finals were going to be in Egypt in February, but for some reason or other had to be moved here instead.
Here's a picture of our team at orientation. (The balloons are awarded to the teams during the contest each time they solve a problem so everyone can see how they are doing.)
Update: South Pacific champions:
Good luck to your team, Tim!
Fortunately, there is nothing to distract you in Orlando except for ludicrously expensive theme parks that are not actually very much fun once you're stuck in them.
If you win, I remember relatively reasonably priced very good aged steaks at Vito's Chop House. Knock 'em dead!
@Thers that may be why it was moved from Egypt - too many nerdish distractions there.
Cool, except for the balloons. Terribly disposable waste. Best of luck.
There is The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. That's great...
Wikipedia says Orlando's 34m above sea level, so you should be OK for the next few hundred years.
By the way, has anyone told you the ICPC's just a cabal of greenie frauds who are only in it for the grant money and aiming for world domination?
It's only a matter of time.
Hopefully the organizers have worked with NASA to have a special tour of Kennedy Space Center. The normal one is fine, but the specials are really special.
From someone who's been doing software for many years: those problems from last year are pretty tough! Getting any number of them solved in a few hours is really good stuff.
Best of luck for your team.
Hmm, you just reminded me to check the dates for the ICFP (answer: 17--20 Jun 00:00 UTC). Fortunately for the ICFP folks, there's no danger of confusing them with the IPCC, or the Heartland I'C'CC, or whatever.
Best of to your team Tim.
I second Eli's advice about a visit to Kennedy. Changed a bit since I went round in mid 71 I'll bet. I have just been scanning some transpsrencies I took one (taken by a colleague of course) with me stood in front, a long way in front, of Apollo 15 and gantry on its launch pad a few weeks before blast off. Missed the launch though as by then the grey funnel line had taken me down into the Caribbean.
(by ICFP I meant the ICFP contest, of course...)
Aussie, Aussie,Aussie. Oi, Oi, Oi!
This is a sport I could follow.
Cf recent xkcd
Looking at last year's problems, I think I did best on the "This page intentionally left blank" problems. Good luck.
I am sure i don't need to tell you but.....but....but!, if any of your students end up with an IT outlook then as an engineer I will come back to haunt you.
Jeremy, I don't know what you mean by "IT Outlook", but having recently been involved with a Uni on an IT project I wouldn't wish my experience with the "Uni outlook on IT" on anyone. Apparently at least one Uni doesn't believe in having a design phase to precede the implementation phase. Apparently at least one Uni believes several weeks of complaining that "things don't work" due to people assuming things that weren't discussed would work, or that things that were discussed but ruled out would work anyway.
I was joking Vince.
Can we see an updated picture of the UNSW team, showing their haul of balloons?
Swimsuit calendar or it didn't happen.
**Update** South Pacific champions -- see photo added to post.
Does the coach get a trophy, guernsey, personal plaque?
"South Pacific Champions"?
So you beat New Zealand? Were there any other Aussie Unis there?
Congratulations Tim and the team. Can you post a link to the problems.
While you were away, proof that [climate change crankdom](http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2742686.html) never sleeps.
Dang. They're good!!!
Problem E of last years looks pretty tough to do with not much time. They're all tough. (I'm guessing they're at least second year students having taken an algorithms class?)
Congratulations on your victory, and thanks for continuing to refute climate denialism.
Congrats Tim. What programming language did your team use?
There were only two teams from the South Pacific in the finals -- UNSW and Canterbury.
The problems are [here](http://cm2prod.baylor.edu/digital/icpc2011.pdf)
Our team used C++. (The other languages allowed are Java and C).