Week 11, Semester 3 + ACM ICPC Asia Kuala Lumpur Regional Contest 2014

5 November 2014

I’ve been very busy in the recent days in catching up with lessons since last week on Friday, me and my friends went to compete in ACM ICPC Regional KL, leaving tons of assignments behind 😛

So, I’ve found a free time and this is it.

Monday went nice: no CZ2002 tutorial and only CZ2004 lab, which was negligible. We had a group meeting on the assignment. But turned out that many have not been done and the meeting resulted in us doing our own stuffs.

Tuesday, I skipped CZ2001 lecture and was late for CZ2002 lecture, thanks to NTU Shuttle Bus. After that, I continued coding through my Surface, using remote desktop connection to my laptop, for an hour before going for lunch and then went for CZ2004 and CZ2001 tutorials. After that, I and Edwin continued some part of the assignment. The day was closed by CZ2003 lecture. At night, I continued coding the part of the assignment and managed to finish the goal.

Wednesday, CZ2005 lab was hellish, my program ran into infinite loop and no one knows why, including the TA. And what’s worse, the professors wouldn’t let me know the solution “by school policy”. Fortunately, that night, I asked for Robert help and finally found what I did wrong in my codes. That day, HW0210 tutorial was a mini-presentation, and was quite interesting. Finally this course was going to an end. That very night, the ICPC coach held a mini-contest, gathering us to repeat the problems that were least solved in the previous training sessions. I coded one problem using a particular solution (DFS) and always got Wrong Answer, towards the end, I tried another solution (BFS) and I think I was almost correct (although still Wrong Answer, but yet the coach says that this should work, maybe of the corner cases).

On Thursday, the lecture of CZ2005 went short, finishing the whole course. After that, I went to LWN, printing some stuffs and went for quick early-lunch. After CZ2003 tutorial and BU8301 lecture that took up lunch time, I went for quick late-lunch. As usual, attempting and discussing the tutorial questions before going to the tutorial. This time, the tutorial presentation was not good, as if they lack of preparation and was not following the structure that the tutor had given out earlier this semester. At night, I had a meeting of NTUBS Resource, reviewing what we’ve done and what should we do next. After this, I did packing up and ended up making my desk very messy.

On Friday, it’s ACM ICPC Asia-KL Regional Contest 2014! I woke up at 6, and went to Canteen 2 bus stop, waited for the others: Peter, Joey (team coach), and Joshua, who was late. Next, we went to airport by taxi and checked-in quite early. After that we waited for other teams to check in and then went to the waiting room, meeting the “head coach” Prof Rui Fan. I glanced through his passport and found out that it’s American. The flight was delayed as there were “congestion” in the air, making our flight an hour late, and we waited inside the airplane. After we arrived and passed through immigration, we’re faced with some problem that another team was “lost” (they flew using another carrier and arrived at another terminal, but were not contactable after their arrival). Eventually, the teams were complete and we hired mini-bus to carry us to IIUM, the university where the contest will be held. At this point, we haven’t had our lunch, and Joshua even haven’t had his breakfast. After a small reunion with TOKI friends from NUS and UI, the opening ceremony started and next they had “hi-tea”, which we perceived as lunch. Next, we proceed to test session, where we supposed to test the environment of the contest. So, the computer was running on Ubuntu 12.04, submission was done using PC^2, and scoreboard was in plain HTML. This was like my first time doing a contest in which the submission was done not via browser. This test contest seemed to be quite hard, but nevertheless it was a very short contest and we left our team notebook along with some stationery there. The journey to hotel was felt short as we took a rest inside the bus. Arrived at De Palma Hotel Ampang, we checked in, took a very short rest, and then went for a buffet dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, treated by the head coaches. Well, for hotel standard, the food sucks as the main dish were fried fish and sardine-like chicken with variety of salty fish as the side dish. The best part was the honeydew melon for dessert. Well, I was so excited when I saw it that I took and ate a lot of it. Going back to room, we practiced some of past year problem of ICPC Regional KL, in which we had The Legend of Korra Episode 5 as the intermezzo. We slept at 12 as we’re so tired already and the day after was a big day.

We woke up gradually since 5.30am, starting with Peter, me, and then Joshua. We went to the university by bus, but I noticed that the bus went round the campus (I guess the bus missed a turn or was lost). Here, we had breakfast before going for the contest. Before contest, the coaches briefed us one more time.

Your team name is face team. You can afford to lose it. — KAJ

Our team name was “m(_ _)m”, which was the unofficial emoticon for a person doing a bow towards the reader, and perceived by Prof Kevin as a face and hence the “face team”.

At the contest, we started by tearing apart the problemset, dividing the reading task to 2 people, while Peter coded the template. Joshua quickly identified problem C as easy, and me identified problem F as easy. We submitted both to Peter and he coded them, not realizing other problem was easy too. Hence, we spent a lot of time on debugging problem F (because the implementation was hard). Moving on, we did J and back to F. Realizing that B was supposed to be an easy problem, Joshua focused on it, while Peter implementing MST on problem H. After H got AC, we start implementing a solution that later we realized that it won’t work (purely combinatorics), we restarted to do it, using different approach (DP) and shortly got AC. Towards the end of the contest, we realized that we had 3 choices: to think of L (that a lot of team got AC) or do A (which implementation might be hard) or do E (which solution may not be working). We decided to do A (by Peter’s implementation of algorithm and Joshua’s coding the rest) and got AC, later we attempted E in the last 20 minutes but no luck. In the end, we solved 6/12, while we saw the first rank got 12/12 in around 2 hours.

What’s done have been done. Good job. We went to see other teams, mainly NUS and UI team before having lunch. After lunch, we went for the closing ceremony, problem analysis, rank announcement (we ranked 22 out of 54, with 3 humps on the bell curve and we’re at the lower half of the 2nd hump), prize presentation, and continued with dinner-like “hi-tea”, accompanied with some annoying entertainment.

After this, we went straight to Ampang LRT station by bus, taking the LRT to the departure point. This LRT station looks like a normal train station, while the train itself looks like New York City’s subway, with a colder aircon. Alighting at Pasar Rakyat LRT Station, we went to McDonald’s nearby, had dinner and waited until around 11pm before going to the point where the bus fetching us to Singapore departs.

The bus departed at midnight. The seat was very comfortable, and I slept for like 3 hours before woken up for immigration process. Next, the trip continued for a while before we being dropped off at middle of nowhere (supposedly near Jurong East), and we took taxi to NTU.

Arriving at my room, I went to sleep, planning to wake up around 7am, but I failed and woken up at 11 instead. It was a very good sleep. The Sunday was filled with me doing Hi-Fi CZ2005 lab report, finalizing CZ2004 Hi-Fi Prototype, contributing to CZ2001 Lab 4 Report, and Dharma Camp 2015 Publicity team meeting.

But that’s not all, I still had CZ2003 lab to do, CZ2002 Assignment to finish, HW0210 presentation to do, and video recordings to watch.

3 thoughts on “Week 11, Semester 3 + ACM ICPC Asia Kuala Lumpur Regional Contest 2014

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