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UKSPC 2010 » 12th University of Kentucky Student Programming Contest

Quick Info

Thursday, September 21, 2017 from 6:00PM to 10:00PM. The local competition UKSPC'17 is divided into two divisions: Division I (more advanced) and Division II, both competing on Tuesday, September 14, 2010. 5:45 PM to 9:30 PM EST. The participants of the UKSPC may be included in the ACM teams. These teams will practice after the UKSCP to be ready to compete in the Mid-Central Region ACM competition scheduled on November 6, 2010. Teams for other contests (IEEE, etc.) may be formed as well from the UKSCP participants.
Local competition: CS Undergrad Lab, 102/103 RGAN. Note that there are two divisons with different starting times. The building may be locked but the main entrance is typically unlocked. There will be someone waiting at the door closest to the RGAN 103 lab to make sure that you can get in.
Who can participate?
It is open to all UK students at all levels.
See section on preparations at the end of this page. As a basic practice, look at the following problem and its solutions in Java and C++; pay special attention to how the input is handled.

Also, look at problems in -- KATTIS and in -- UVA where you can also submit your solutions and get feedback. At the beginning select easier problems; the difficulty is indicated by submission statistics provided for each of the problems.

To register as a participant or as a helper use this form: register


Are you a good programmer? Do you like to solve problems? UK students from all departments, undergraduate and graduate, are invited to participate in the UK Students Programming Contest.

Harbin, China, February 2010

The World Finals, Harbin, China, February 2010

“...announcing the Annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest sponsored by IBM!!” From thousands of teams competing in regional contests held from September to December 2010 world-wide, about eighty teams will advance to the World Finals in May 2011. Prizes, scholarships, and bragging rights are at stake for some of the world's finest university students of computing.

Regional contests are held from September to December 2010 to select about eighty teams to advance to the World Finals in May 2011. Prizes, scholarships, and bragging rights are at stake for some of the world's finest university students of computing." More about the ACM Contest can be found here.

Our local University of Kentucky Programming Contest and tryouts to select two teams and alternates to participate in Mid-Central Regional are approaching soon (see Schedule). There are many good reasons to participate and we would like to encourage your participation. The main objective of the competition is to promote academic excellence. The winners may qualify to represent the University of Kentucky at the Annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.

In 2010, our programming team (Tom Dodson, Mark Hays, Stefan Kendall) advanced to the World Finals and represented our University in Harbin, China in February, 2010. In the past, our programming teams were very successful and qualified several times for the finals. In particular, 1998-1999 team (Chris Wells, Keith Shapiro, Joe Moore, reserve B. Bryan Durall, and coach Jerzy W. Jaromczyk) was one of the best sixty teams in the world and traveled to Eindhoven, the Netherlands to compete. The 2000-2001 team (Leon Poutievski, Neil Moore, Andy Martin, reserve Bill Wyatt and Coach J. W. Jaromczyk) qualified to the 2001 World Finals and competed in March 2001, in Vancouver, Canada. Our 2002-2003 team (Jesse Andrews, Andy Martin, Ryan Gabbard, reserve Brendan Chandler, Stephen duBarry) advanced to the 2003 World Finals and competed in March 2003 in Beverly Hills. More about the ACM contest can be found in in ACM Contest World Finals.

If you don't qualify for the team this year, the experience that you gain will be useful next year, and the finals will be in a very attractive location, as usual.


Individual preparations - September, 2010.

Contest: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 in CS Undergrad Lab, 102/103 RGAN.


Local Contest Director and UPE Advisor
Dr. Jerzy W. Jaromczyk
Faculty advisors
Professors P. Piwowarski, D. Keen
UPE Student Representative(s)
Michael Delfino, Nick Mattei
Lab and software support
helpers: volunteers
Neil Moore and Daniel Harris


In general, the local contest will have a similar format to regional competitions, except that on the local level the competition is individual. If there is a sufficient interest and participation, winners will be announced in three categories: graduate students, juniors and seniors, freshman and sophomore. To help with planning of the contest, please register with the registration form. Helpers to prepare and run the contest are needed. Please send e-mail to Local Contest Director if interested and register with registration form.

The final contest rules, such as the length of the local competition, prizes, etc., will be fixed on the Contest Director's discretion. They will be announced prior to the competition.

The winners will be announced shortly after the competition.

Teams and alternatives for the ACM Contest will be selected from the past year team and the winners of the local contest. The final composition of the teams will be decided before each level of the ACM competitions and will be based on the performance during team practices and the eligibility criteria. If needed, additional tryouts may be called. All team members must meet eligibility criteria. For example, only one graduate student per team were allowed in the past but there are new rules this year that may limit it even further.

To learn more about rules read the general rules and the regional rules (note that the local competition is individual rather than team). The rules regarding the participation in the Regionals and Finals can be found on ACM Rules and Regional Rules.


The official languages of the competition are C and C++ and Java. We will use environment similar to what is used in the World Finals: Linux, GNU compilers, and UNIX editors. Each student can bring two computer books and notes. No calculators, cell phones, or other electronic devices, please.


In 2014, there are two divisions based on the prior experience. The competition requires very good programming skills as well as problem solving abilities. To increase your chances at the competition you may want to work on practice problems. A bountiful number of problems from previous competitions are available on the Internet. Below you will find a few sample questions; specifically look at previous UKSPC problems. Some of them are taken from a previous regional competition. As a basic practice, look at the following problem and its solutions in Java and C++; pay special attention to how the input is handled. In general solutions do not require many lines of code and some are a half-page long. Most problems at the UKSPC contest just require straightforward, common sense approaches and one or two may benefit from techniques such as:

Algorithms that you have learned in various courses, in particular in CS-115, CS-215, CS-315 or CS-515, will be useful; your textbook on algorithms is a good source to get started. However, the UKSPC is open to all UK students and there will be a variety of problems. A number of problems just require common sense, and all of them require thinking. Remember that learning is a very slow process so do not get discouraged if practice problems take you a long time and appear too hard. Later it will be faster and the problems will appear easier, believe me. Look specifically at the previous UKSPC contest problems.