There are 12 topics/skills covered throughout the competition: Computer Number Systems, Recursive Functions, What Does This Program Do, Prefix/Infix/Postfix Notation, Bit-String Flicking, LISP, Boolean Algebra, Data Structures, FSAs and Regular Expressions, Graph Theory, Digital Electronics and Assembly Language Programming. There are also 4 programming problems not necessarily related to these topics.
The program begins with two weeks of dedicated programming practice to provide participants with an opportunity to enhance their skills. Subsequently, each of the 12 ACSL topics is allocated a two-week period, allowing ample time for in-depth exploration and understanding. Prior to each contest, participants are presented with two programming problems that are intentionally unrelated to the current topics. These problems are designed to enhance the coder’s skills and foster comfort in tackling diverse challenges.
Throughout the season, participants are expected to solve 8 required programming problems, with an additional 4 optional ones. Additionally, at the beginning of the program, 14 introductory problems are provided, along with over 50 short answer problems to further engage participants.
During the regular season, there are four contests. Each contest is comprised of a short-answer written portion during which participants must respond to 5 questions within a 30-minute timeframe. During the written portion, the team convenes on Zoom with each student in their own Breakout Room, on a mutually agreed-upon date before the contest deadline, the first of which is in mid-January. Additionally, every contest entails a programming segment that grants a 72-hour window for completion once initiated. It is the responsibility of each student to undertake this portion prior to that contest’s deadline. After the regular season, individuals who scored 24 points and above will be invited to the Finals, a programming-style competition in late May.
Contest Schedule: https://www.acsl.org/get-started/schedule
- Contest #1: available Nov. 1, 2023; closes Sunday January 13, 2024 @ 11:59pm EST
- Contest #2: available Jan. 2, 2024; closes Sunday March 2, 2024 @ 11:59pm EST
- Contest #3: available Feb. 5, 2024; closes Sunday April 6, 2024 @ 11:59pm EDT
- Contest #4: available March 11, 2024; closes Sunday May 11, 2024 @ 11:59pm EDT
This course is designed in different stages: warm-up, contest#1, contest#2, contest#3 and contest#4.
36 group classes, 1.5 hours each, 54 hours in total