Thursday, May 04, 2006

TopCoder TCO ... and the usual boring life

Currently 2006 TopCoder Open(TopCoder's Annual Algorithm Contest) is going on in Las Vegas ... Yes!! you heard it right, in LAS VEGAS. Las Vegas seems a unusual place to host such a contest but thats the Topcoder's Way. I love it. To make the TCO fun for the unlucky ones like me who could not qualify for the finals, TopCoder selected 4 official bloggers through its pick me contest to bring the action live to us. Now one would ask what action is there to watch? May be to you and many others it doesn't sounds exciting but I and the whole topcoder community loves to see/read how their favourites among those who qualified perform. Their ups and downs, the way a room leader falls down during the challenge contest and another one rises. Yes, TopCoder's contest have a lots of thrills. Every second you will be worrying if misof or antimatter or petr is viewing your code and has found a bug and you are going to be challenged. Even if you pass the challenge phase you can still be awarded 0(zero) if your code fails the system test. And as in any other contest, time limit is there, so not just pass the system test but pass it in the time limit. In other contests like ACM ICPC and majority of the online programming contests once you get "accepted" your solution is perfectly correct. But in TopCoder its not, first pass the challenges and then the system test , and you get just one opportunity. I mean that in other contests if your solution fails you can debug and resubmit, but not in TopCoder.... thats the thrill. For more on TopCoder's SRM details , visit my earlier post.
Ok.. so I was talking about the 4 official bloggers of TCO 2006. They all are doing fine and posting cool stuff - with pics of Las Vegas and all. To read their blogs, visit this page.
I would paste some of the cool photographs from Las Vegas here:-
The topcoder onsite arena:-

A close up with Omgrace, one of the official bloggers sitting there. Isn't the desk cool?( and isn't the lady hot :P )

The BIG monitors to watch whats happening during the contest for the use of onsite visitors.

The tall misof(left) with other topcoders:-

UVa ACM solvers would also recognize him(and many more topcoders) as he is an Experienced poster there. He is two time ACM ICPC winner or finalist I guess.(I don't remember exactly whether he was winner or just a finalist. By just a finalist I mean he was atleast in top three atleast once.)

The Usual Boring Life
Now about the usual boring life. Ther is little non-boringness here. Today I found out about G. Anand and "she" (I was 2 days late in knowing this) . My first reaction was a kind of laugh, and don't care. But as I read the whole blog from Sept. 2005 to current day I understood what it really was. I am sorry the way I laughed at G. Anand in his room at him. We all made a mockery of him. But its real. Their story is no less than a normal movie love story. As I read all the posts one by one, I felt as a movie is being played in front of my eyes.

The CVIT Portal
We have done absolutely no work after our presentation on Monday. First of all, we were not too happy at being given a portal to eat our summer time. But anyhow we started and thought to finsih it quickly and move on to our real project Content Based Image Retrieval(CBIR). But as everyone says Prof. Jawahar won't let us finish the portal quickly. We made almost half the portal before the presentation and then we were asked to change everything. New features etc. had to be added. Next time we meet may be we will have to redesign it once again. I wish I was one of the TopCoder Design/ Development Contestant who could do these kind of things so fast.

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Koorma Pramodh said...

I've read this.An excellent review by lbackstorm.

I read .. kawigi's blog.. the first that striked to me is his excellent plugin that makes life so easy.

Besides I've read on topcoder website that misof is one of the tallest(6'2) of the topcoder's coders.

Turbo said...

I also tried to read that review by ibackstorm. But how can you understand it when you don't know the problems? Is their any page where problem definitions are given?
Me too a great fan of Kawigi and his KawigiEdit. I use KawigiEdit as it combines fileEdit and TzTester into one(and obviously, much more than that). More on it when I will write a post on TopCoder's Arena(pending for long).
PS: I got the gutts/encouragement to blog about TopCoder after reading this and this from Kawigi.

Turbo said...

I got the problem definitions here. Its in Competitions->Algorithm->Statistics->Problem Archive