The Official Blog of the 2008 TopCoder Open

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Posted May 14th 2008 10:55PM by jmpld40

This morning started with a cricket running loose in the arena. We luckily captured him and were able to let him loose back into the out doors.

Since then, the day has been pretty laid back. The Studio finals were a lot of fun today and all the competitors had some really cool projects. Lilly was really impressed with the outcome. We just finished up going over the awards ceremony and we're all hoping it runs nice and smooth tomorrow. We have one last day in Vegas. I can't believe how fast the event has gone already.

Right now the poker tournament is in full swing and everyone is enjoying hot fudge sundaes. Yummy! I'm going back to the junk food now.

TC Channel: Studio Finals in the Books

Posted May 14th 2008 8:29PM by Denis Horgan

Sarah speaks with Studio's Kim Jones invisiblepilot about how things went in the Studio final rounds.

TC Channel: Meet [Pops]

Posted May 14th 2008 1:36PM by Denis Horgan

Sarah catches up for a quick interview with Pops.

Component Development Finals are Underway

Posted May 14th 2008 12:33PM by Denis Horgan

TC Channel: The Finals are Set

Posted May 14th 2008 12:55AM by Denis Horgan

TC Channel: Arena Tour

Posted May 13th 2008 10:45PM by Denis Horgan

Sarah wraps up Algo room 3 and gives us a tour of the Competition Arena

Play by play - Wildcard

Posted May 13th 2008 10:23PM by d000hg


Posted May 13th 2008 10:01PM by jmpld40

This very long day is almost over. We are on the last round of the day, the wildcard. It was great to have dinner tonight before the round with tomek, Jan_Kuipers and bmerry. They are all competing against each other but a few hours ago it was all fun and laughter over dinner.

My funny tidbits of the day:

  • There is a ladder puzzle at the VeriSign booth and I sat down with Luca, adic, TheCois, vlad_D and AleaActaEst and we all were trying to do this puzzle. Luca could do it but I'm pretty sure he cheated. adic figured it out but had no idea how. We basically were sitting on the floor for 30 minutes cursing over this stupid puzzle that we were convinced was impossible. It was funny.
  • At dinner, mathijs and OlexiyO were telling us about their magic carpet ride from TCO06. I had no idea what they were talking about but they showed me the video. We were all in hysterics! Enjoy:

There is nothing funnier about my day than seeing mathijs, OlexiyO, tomek and company on this video swinging their shirts around. Hysterical!

Nerves before the Wildcard...

Posted May 13th 2008 9:01PM by leadhyena_inran

It has been an exciting Tuesday. We finished Round 3 of the Semifinals about an hour ago. Nine of the competitors for the Finals have been picked; from Round 3 we had andrewzta, ardiankp, and Yarin. Yarin hasn't advanced to the TCO finals since '03; andrewzta and ardiankp haven't faced each other in a final round since TCCC in '06 (only 50 points separated them). Many of the competitors have compared the Wildcard to torture, since there is only one advancer out of twelve and it is so late at night. Keep in mind they haven't seen the problems yet.

At the dinner before the match, tomek and Jan_Kuipers were joking about being in the wildcard together. tomek is no stranger to the event, having won advanced from the wildcard last year, advancing to the last round, only to see his 500 fall giving Jan_Kuipers the win. It'll be interesting to see who comes out on top this year. The round is really strong; having many competitors who are seasoned in these events, and several rematches. It'll definitely be a nail-biter.

Edit: Apologies to JongMan who actually did win the wildcard last year, not tomek!

Algorithm Competition Room 3 Summary

Posted May 13th 2008 8:25PM by mystic_tc

andrewzta wins Room 3!

The last Semifinal of this year's TCO turned out to have more complicated problems than two previous ones. However submissions on Easy didn't reflect it. bmerry was the first to submit the 250-pointer for 237.69 points. He was just 3 points in front of Soultaker and ardiankp. Many more coders also submitted the Easy very fast. After that there was a very long silent period of time. Most coders went to the 550-pointer, but some tried the 950-pointer first. The idea of solution for the 550-pointer was not hard, but it required lengthy and careful implementation. To the contrary, 950-pointer required really small implementation, but the idea was hard to get.


Tuesday - Semi-Finals Draw to a close

Posted May 13th 2008 7:03PM by d000hg

Let's start with a couple of pictures from semi-final 1 (I didn't have my USB cable last post!):

John Dethridge competes in sunglasses...

tomek with 0 points, with 15min left

As I type this the 3rd and last semi-final has just completed. After sitting at the top, bmerry dropped into a wildcard slot alongside fellow target tomek (who was lucky to advance with just his 250 in the last minutes of semi-final 1). This seemed the toughest problem set so far, with many failed mediums and no hard poblems submitted at all. After a fairly eventful challenge phase, andrewzta ended as room winner, followed by ardiankp and Yarin.

After a bunch of problems earlier with the real-time scoreboard, TC announced a new, working version! So this time, the systest results could be displayed in the traditional way, instead of the winners being announced through the PA system!

Crowds gather to admire the all-new leaderboard...

...And here it is.

Algorithm Competition Room 2 Summary

Posted May 13th 2008 6:10PM by mystic_tc

vlad89 wins Room 2!

The Algorithm Competition of TCO'08 continued with Semifinal Room 2. The actions started early as Eryx submitted the Easy for 243,28 points. Many other competitors followed closely behind. Some time later Eryx found a bug in his code and resubmitted to let the lead to Petr, who quickly made his lead stronger by fast 500 submission. Poles tomekkulczynski and Eryx had also quite good times on the Medium soon after Petr. But the following 15 minutes without submission on 500 showed that the Medium problem was not very easy. Still, it was not very hard, too, so more submissions on it were made and we saw 12 submissions by the end of coding phase.


TC Channel: Midway through Algo Tuesday

Posted May 13th 2008 4:34PM by Denis Horgan

Sarah wraps up Algorithm rooms 1 & 2

Algorithm Competition Room 1 Summary

Posted May 13th 2008 4:03PM by Denis Horgan

Burunduk1 wins Room 1!

Algorithm Semifinal 1 opened the TCO'08 Algorithm Competition this morning. The round proved to be quite eventful. It started from many fast submissions on the 250, which was quite straightforward implementational problem. After this, nothing happened for a while. Most coders proceeded to the 500, but some skipped it to directly proceed to the 1000. tomek and xhl_kogitsune even started the round with the 1000.


The "Unofficial" TCO Blog

Posted May 13th 2008 3:14PM by Denis Horgan


TopCoder member akinwale is here blogging the TCO on his own page, He's got a lot of great information and videos of his own - check it out!

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