Competitive Programming FAQs

Q: Is Competitive Programming SI – Programming Competition Residential?
A: Yes. Students will stay on campus throughout the two week event. Basic room and board will be covered in the SI cost. Students will stay in on campus residence halls with residential advisors hired for the Institute.

Q: What is the cost and what does it cover?
A: The cost of the program is $2750 and that covers on-campus lodging, meals, tuition, books, programming competition, field trips, materials, and the closing ceremony.

Q: When are applications due?
A: The early bird deadline is April 14. These applications will be given first consideration and acceptances will be given to some of these applicants on or before April 21 via email. Any remaining slots available will be filled from applications deferred from this group and those received by the final deadline, May 19. These students will hear back by May 26 via email.

Q: When is the $500 deposit due?
A: You must pay your $500 deposit by June 2 to hold your spot. Otherwise, others will be offered an opportunity to attend. The deposit is non-refundable.

Q: When is the remaining amount due?
A: June 16.

Q: Are there any scholarships available?
A: Yes, there are two types of scholarships available for Competitive Programming SI. (1) Financial Need – Students must establish need as defined by the university. (2) Increasing capacity – Women remain significantly underrepresented Computer Science. Today, however, many companies, organizations, and colleges are committed to increasing the number of women in the field. Students requesting scholarship assistance should contact the program coordinator for more details once accepted to the program.

Q: Can high school credit be given for the courses taken at SI@UCF?
A: Once accepted, the student would have to contact their guidance counselor before the program starts. After the program ends, our lead instructor provides each student with a synopsis of what they have learned and their grade in each course. It is up to each individual school to award credit, and it has been done in the past.

Q: How many students are accepted?
A: A maximum of 35 students will be accepted.

Q: What about meals?
A: Most meals are included in the cost of the program except when on field trips. For those not included, students will need to provide their own funds. We will identify these opportunities to students accepted into the program. If students require additional funds to what is allocated by the program, there are two options: They can put debit/flex dollars on their UCF student ID card or pay cash/credit/debit cards.

Q: Do you use Macs or PCs?
A: Our lab has PCs, but students are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptops as many students workshop problems in the evenings. Students are not required to bring their laptops, however.

Q: To what extent will you teach in a specific language?
A: Nearly all programming contests allow Python, C++ and Java, and many contests allow quite a few other further languages. Our staff is most familiar with Java and will provide its solutions in that language primarily. Students may use whichever language of the three listed above that they feel comfortable with and most of the key content from lectures will not be language specific.  Note that Python is typically too slow to solve more challenging contest problems in the time limit provided. Once an idea is taught, it is expected that students will be able to convert that idea into code for the language of their choice. If it becomes clear that a vast majority of students in the camp would benefit from a language specific lesson in their chosen programming language, the schedule will be adapted to fit that need.