This post is intended to communicate the current vision for how the club will operate in Sp21
- Feb 13th, Last day for ICPC registration. YOU MUST BE REGISTERED BY THIS DATE TO COMPETE
- Mar 6th, ICPC Regional competition. See general post for more information
- TBA, ICPC national competition. If we place well at the regional competition, our team may be invited to advance. We currently do not know when this contest would take place
Foreword: Becoming a competitive programming force in the Midwest
During the previous semester, it was decided that the club would undergo a transition to directing all efforts towards achieving a successful placement at ICPC. What this means is that week-by-week activities will come to resemble that of a programming team (practice, coaching, etc.) rather than that of a club (projects, events, etc.). This decision was made with input from our faculty advisor, previous leadership, and active membership. I have complete faith that this goal will be achieved in a timely matter, and I will put forth my best effort to see it through.
Weekly recurring activities
Finding ways to deliver team content to members in the midst of a pandemic is an ongoing challenge for ACM Comp. The previous semester saw various experiments with meeting format, some more successful than others. One important conclusion was this: In person interaction (when possible) proved more effective than virtual.
With that in mind, this semester we will be introducing a team-unit paradigm to our training. This means that members will be encouraged to form ~ 3-4 member teams that will schedule and run their own individual practice sessions. There are a few reasons for this, the first being so that we can simultaneously accommodate those who would benefit from in-person interaction as well as those who are located off-campus or at a greater risk of infection. Second, this allows for everyone to train at a level of difficulty that they are comfortable with. Teams consisting of members new to the world of competitive programming can focus on the basics while more experienced members can dive into more advanced concepts. Given that this is a new concept, I will not strictly require this of all active members but instead strongly suggest that everyone participate.
General meetings will occur Wednesdays from 6pm to 7. If the level of active membership remains at a level such that in-person meetings would be appropriate, I would like to make these meetings located on campus. Please try to plan your schedules for that possibility. There is no need to prepare for these meetings, simply arrive ready to share your thoughts and ideas.
The content for these meetings will generally revolve around an algorithm, data-structure, problem-class, or technique that is an important tool for competitive programmers. We may introduce a challenge in order to demonstrate how to apply the concepts, but any work will be done as a group and any prior-knowledge required such as code implementations will be provided.
Following general meetings, teams will be free to meet at a time and place that is convenient for them. I will provide additional content to guide each team in their practice sessions. See the post on competition teams for more details on how this will work and how to become a team captain.
There are a number of technical projects in the works for the team. Most are not critical to our daily functioning, and thus I will simply open them up to anybody that would like to contribute. See the post on current projects for more info.
ACM Comp would like to be able to offer specialization tracks to members that wish to master a particular facet of competitive programming. How exactly we would go about this is unclear, and unfortunately I am not an expert on every subject relating to competitive programming (or else we'd already be champs!). As such, if any members know of a (student or faculty) expert on the subject or would like to become one themselves, please get in contact with me about it. I will list the foreseen specializations here (tentatively):
- Graph Theory
- Dynamic Programming
- Computational Geometry
- Discrete Mathematics
- String Processing
We may host an event relating to interview-prep for the upcoming Spring career fair. Or not, we shall see. I will make a post about it if so.