This practice facility is designed for those who want to compete in the Harvard Selection Contests that the Harvard Computing Contest Club (HC3) uses to determine teams that will travel to ACM sponsored programming contests.
The Harvard Selection Contests are generally held very early in the Fall Semester. Individuals compete against each other in a 4 hour contest, in which each individual is given a computer terminal only during the last 3 hours of the contest, and must work with pen and paper for the first hour.
Because the competators are essentually 1-person teams, the problems require less code on average than problems in other contests. There is frequently a dynamic programming problem, a geometry problem, and a search problem, so as to ensure that winners are capable in some or all of these areas. As many as 6 contestants are selected to be members of Harvard teams; that is, there may be as many as 6 winners.
For those who are interested in more challenging problems, see the Boston Preliminary (BOSPRE) Programming Contest Practice Facility.
This practice facility differs from an actual Selection Contest in three ways. First, for the practice facility you use your own personal account to solve problems, and submit solutions by email; while in an actual Selection Contest you will be given an account and special commands to make submissions. Second, for the practice facility you can get the autojudge to return to you the judge's input and output for the first failed test case of an incorrect solution; but during an actual Selection Contest, there will be no such feedback. And third, the practice facility ranking score is based on the amount of feedback you get for incorrect solutions, but the ranking score of a Selection Contest is based on the time you take to submit a first correct solution, plus the number of incorrect solutions you submit.
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