PClassic is a programming competition hosted by the Dining Philosophers at the University of Pennsylvania.East Brunswick High School sent 4 teams of 4 people each to compete against other schools and clubs. Unfortunately, we don’t have a club or any practice for the event since the computer science program in the school isn’t t the best. We were against schools who code as part of their curriculum and probably practiced for hours for the event.
I believe Thomas Jefferson High School (From Virginia) won the competition and did all 8 programs… with one hour to spare.
Anyhow, it was really fun! I set up java and eclipse on my BackTrack linux based laptop the day before and it was working perfectly! But, we were only allowed one laptop per team, so I used my friend’s macbook (which was much faster anyway). On the way to UPenn, Ross, my friend, and I tried some practice problems. I coded the Roman Numerals to Integer and vice versa in around an hour. It was good practice.
We got there at around 10:30 AM, around when the competition started. However, there was a lecture hall session at the time and we decided to sit in for it. The professor had a very strange accent and was difficult to understand at first, but after adjusting to his speech pattern, I understood it. He seemed like a really cool teacher. The actual programming started at 11:15. We had four hours to code.
I started off with a boxing program. I had to compare two boxers, which were given inputs on health, multipliers on the damage of Jabs, Hooks, and Uppercuts. Then I had to run the program and display the winner. At first, I had to no idea that there were preset .java files that we needed to use. So, I raw coded everything from scratch. The funny part was that it worked perfectly… and even funnier was that they said I couldn’t use it since I didn’t use the preset .java class.
So, I had to code everything again on the preset class. It didn’t take that long to put the fundamentals down again since I raw coded it, but there were a few bugs. I fixed all the bugs around 30 seconds before submission time was over. That was the only submission that worked and was accepted. 1/8 programs.
Though we didn’t win, it was a really cool experience. Hopefully, later on as my programming knowledge expands, I can code them all quicker and more efficiently. Otherwise, congratulations to Thomas Jefferson High School!