Competitive Programming Academics

The Department of Computer Science is housed in the Harris Corporation Engineering Center (HEC) on UCF’s main campus in Orlando. The department’s faculty includes 4 IEEE Fellows, 1 ACM Fellow, 5 NSF CAREER Award winners and several other award-winning faculty.

The department has shown excellence in both research and teaching. In 2016, UCF was among the top 50 cited domains for Computer Science research. The department also leads the NASA GOLD Mission’s Science Data Center, as part of the largest grant in UCF history ($55 M). In addition, EECS is home to both the EXCEL and PROFIT programs, aimed at increasing retention in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines and encouraging high school students to enter STEM fields.

The department is home to UCF’s Championship Programming Team, which finished in 10th place in the 2018 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) World Finals, and 1st place of all teams from North America. It was the second year in a row the team was 1st place of all teams from the United States at the ACM ICPC World Finals. Many team members have gone on to work at Google, Facebook and other selective employers.

This camp will separate students into two different courses (Introductory-Division B, Advanced-Division A) based on how they do in the first contest during the camp. After each subsequent camp contest, if students in Division B perform well enough, they will be invited to move up to Division A. Roughly speaking, we expect USACO Bronze and Silver students to be in the Introductory group and USACO Gold and Platinum students to be in the Advanced group. (There have been exceptions to this break down in past camps as students’ performance on our contests isn’t always identical to how they perform on USACO.)

Course Overview

The course will alternate between two separate schedules – one for days with five hour contests and one for days without contests. The mock contests will be held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the first week and Tuesday and Thursday of the second week. In the past, the first four contests lasted 4 hours and the last contest lasted 5 hours long. Unless the students request otherwise, we expect to continue contests of these durations. Due to the length of the contests and their intensity, relatively few other academic activities will occur on those days. On the days without contests the morning will consist of a review of the problems from the previous day’s contests while the afternoon will consist of a lecture on a specified topic, followed by time for students to work on their own compiled library of pre-written algorithms and data structures, corresponding to the day’s lecture. In addition, students will be encouraged to solve problems they didn’t get correct in contest after the staff has reviewed how to solve these problems in the problem review. Outside activities, such as guest speakers and mini-trips will be inserted into the schedule to minimize disruption from the flow of the academics.