The Alberta Collegiate Programming Contest (ACPC) is an opportunity for university and college students in Alberta to excel in a programming competition!

Students will test their aptitude and knowledge against a set of programming puzzles requiring problem-solving, programming, math, and teamwork skills. Teams are ranked according to the number of problems solved within five hours. The event will begin on October 19th with a warm-up practice, followed by a five-hour competition to decide the winners. In order to qualify for the prizes, teams must have a size of 3. The ACPC is sponsored by Arcurve, and provides a platform for the next generation of computing professionals to pursue excellence.

Prizes Sponsored by
First Place $1500
Second Place $750
Third Place $300

First place: University of Calgary Phoenix

Left to right: Kent Williams-King, Hichem Aichour, Karl Augsten

Second place: University of Lethbridge 1

Left to right: Farshad Barahimi, Chris Martin

Third place: University of Alberta Green

Left to right: Henry Brausen, Afshin Arefi, Jason Yuan

Official Scoreboard
Guest Scoreboard


Anyone is welcome to compete! However, to be eligible for prizes, you must be part of a team of three from an Albertan post-secondary institution and pass the 2013 ICPC eligibility checklist.

Registration (CLOSED)

The registration deadline is 23:55 MDT on Thursday, October 17th. To register, use the Eventbrite page.

Time and Location

The contest officially begins at 12:00 MDT and ends at 17:00 MDT on Saturday, October 19th, 2013.

In Calgary, the contest will be held in the CPSC lab on the main floor of the Math Science building at the University of Calgary. There will be a pre-contest presentation starting at 10:30 am, and a practice contest at 11:00 until 11:45 (all times MDT). An after-contest presentation will also take place starting just after the main competition ends.

Cities in Alberta other than Calgary will have their own designated contest location, and teams outside of Alberta will compete remotely as guests from a location of their choice.

Contest Details & Rules

Teams of three students enrolled in an Albertan educational institution, meeting the criteria linked to in the "Eligibility" section above may compete for prizes. Teams not meeting these requirements may participate as guests. The contest is free of charge for entry; lunch will be provided to official competitors at the Calgary location.

The contest itself is a collection of 5-10 problems to be solved using C, C++, Java, Python, or Haskell. Team rankings are decided first by number of problems solved, and second by time taken to solve.

During the contest, the following rules are in effect:

  • Each team has access to exactly one computer, to be used for writing, testing, and submitting code solutions
  • Internet/network access is restricted to standard library and language documentation, the contest website, and the I/O cheat-sheet (linked below)
  • Teams have unlimited access to written material such as textbooks, notes, and printed example code
  • Use of electronic devices other than the computer is strictly prohibited
  • Teams are ranked according to which has solved the most problems, with ties broken by time taken to solve

You will be provided with a printed copy of the problem set.

You will need a login and a password provided by the organizers to access the contest and practice contest; the main contest will start at 12:00 MDT on Saturday, October 19th. The practice contest starts one hour before the main contest and will last 45 minutes. Participation in the practice is optional but recommended for new competitors.

Permissible Internet resources:

Preparation & Strategy

If you want a leg up on the competition, there are some preparation opportunities available:

  • In Calgary, the Problem Solving Club meets every Wednesday from 18:00 - 21:00 in MS 160 for coaching & practice
  • The UVa Online Judge contains many programming puzzles for self-directed practice
  • The first hour of the event will include a short practice competition

Some time-tested strategies for during the competition:

  • Read all the problems, identify the easy ones, and solve them first
  • If you're having trouble identifying easy problems, look at the scoreboard to see what others are solving
  • Computer time is very valuable, so sketch out your program on paper before coding it (unless it's trivially simple)
  • Debugging a program on paper is more effective than sticking print statements everywhere, 99% of the time
  • Come up with your own test cases for your program, especially edge cases

Organized by the Problem Solving Club in association with CSUS.

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Official ACM ICPC Website