What is the UAB HS Programming Challenge?

Proudly presented by UAB and the National Security Agency (NSA).

About the Contest

The State of Alabama High School Programming Contest (HSPC) hosted by UAB brings talented students from high schools throughout Alabama to the UAB campus to participate in an organized competition. Students individually compete to demonstrate their programming skills and problem solving abilities by attempting to solve six programming problems within a three hour period. Schools that have three or more contestants are also eligible for team awards.

Who can Participate?

The competition is open to all Alabama high school students (public, private, or home schools). A high school student is any student currently enrolled in grades 9-12. Seniors who graduate in 2017 are welcome to participate.

Problem Submission

After a problem is judged, one of the following responses will be returned to the contestant: Correct, Incorrect Output, Incorrect Output Format, Incomplete Output, Failed Test Case, Compiler Error, Run-time Error, Run Time Limit Exceeded.

A contestant may submit a program for judging as many times as they wish. If a program is judged to be incorrect, the contestant may resubmit later.

Scoring and Determination of Rank

Ranking will be based on overall score, where the score is determined primarily by the number of problems solved correctly. Time will be used as a secondary scoring method in order to break potential ties. In the case where multiple contestants have solved the same number of problems, the tie breaker will be the total time taken to solve the correct problems (i.e., the contestant solving the problems in the least amount of time will have the higher ranking). A third-level tie breaker will default to the flip of a coin :) For each incorrect submission, a penalty of 20 minutes will be assessed to the contestant. In computing team rankings, the top three scores of students from each school will be considered.

Contest Guidelines

There is an individual contest (first 5 places awarded). A team is also provided for those schools having three or more participating students (first 2 places awarded).

The contest will consist of 6 or more problems to be solved over a 3 hour period. The set of problems will span various levels of difficulty. Solutions to the problems must be coded in Java or C++ or Python. No other languages are allowed.

You are allowed to bring a total of two books to the contest. These must be “traditional” books – you may not compose your own book or set of notes unless they are in a binder.

You are NOT allowed to bring any software or disks into the lab. If you need a piece of paper, you may ask the lab proctor for blank paper. Any question should be submitted to the judges in writing.

Each clarification question will be considered and acknowledged, but the judges reserve the right to not answer any question that may reveal the answer. The question and its answer may be provided to all contestants if it seems relevant. Performance is a criterion for judging if a solution is correct. Your program must finish and deliver a correct answer within one minute in order to be considered correct. For some of the problems there may exist a solution that might work, but is so inefficient that it will take longer than a minute to finish. You may work on the problems in any order, and submit them in any order. There will not be any third party libraries provided for you. Only standard libraries will be provided, but you may type in any support libraries on your own and submit them as part of your solution. The judges’ decisions are final.

Event Schedule

Check-In / Late Registration Campbell Hall 10:30 am 11:30 am
Lunch Campbell Hall 11:00 am 11:30 am
Welcome and Orientation for HSPC TBA 11:30 am 11:45 am
HSPC Contest TBA 12:00 pm 3:00 pm
Award Presentation TBA 3:15 pm 4:00 pm