This facility has three purposes:
The problems here have been chosen to have an educational flavor. For example, there are problems that are in effect very short courses in string hash functions, Huffman encoding, game search, feature structures, and the Curry-Howard isomorphism.
The problems are judged, or `graded' if you like, by an autojudge that runs your solution against test data. By submitting with the `inout' qualifier, you can get the autojudge to return to you the input and correct output for the first test case on which your solution failed, if your solution is incorrect. This gives you a good chance of working toward a completely correct solution, even if the problem is initially too hard for you.
There is a scoreboard that gives two kinds of scores for each person who submits problems. One score is simply your number of correct submissions. The other, called the ranking score, is a measure of how often you have had to ask the autojudge to return to you the input and correct output for the first test case that failed.
Prospective entrants to BOSPRE contests are given accounts for this facility, so that they can familiarize themselves with the BOSPRE contest environment. Such entrants should firmly note that judging feedback of the kind described in the last paragraph will NOT be available during the BOSPRE contest itself, which will instead use problem solution times to compute a ranking score. To understand the differences between this practice facility and the BOSPRE formal contest, see the help file on formal_contests and the section on Formal Timed Contests in the help file on the scoreboard.
The problems here were initally given at a Boston Preliminary (BOSPRE) Programming Contest or one of its predecessors. Note these are preliminary contests in a two round regional contest, and the problems are mostly not as hard as those in a regional contest.
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