Allan spent last Saturday hanging around the Computer Science department at the University of Saskatchewan. He was there to hand out prizes to the winners of the Fall ACM Programming Contest.
This was the preliminary stage of the International Collegiate Programming Contest. Winners of the preliminaries often move on to the regionals; conveniently, this year the U of S is one of the hosts of the Rocky Mountain Regional Contest. Winners there can proceed to the World Finals, which are happening in 2011 in Sharm-el-Sheikh, on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
For the Fall Preliminary, VendAsta sponsored the main prize, which was taken home by the team of Katherine Schramm, Jillian Slind, and Teresa Hume, all of them third- and fourth-year Comp Sci students at the U of S. I assume they’ll work out some algorithm to determine time-sharing of their prize, a compact home theatre system with iPod dock. Or else they’ll just sell it on Kijiji and split the proceeds.
Katherine, Jillian, and Teresa won by correctly solving three of the advanced level problems. The problems involved stuff like determining the shapes of three-dimensional objects based on their shadows, calculating the cost of manufacturing braille room number signs, and programming a fleet of robot spaceships to conquer the galaxy.
I don’t have a copy of Allan’s speaking notes, but I’m sure he encouraged all the competitors to consider a career at VendAsta if their galactic conquest doesn’t pan out.