Introduction to Programming Contests

NOI.PH is almost like a math competition in the sense that contestants are given a problem to solve. Contestants must then prove that they know how to solve the problem by usually giving a numerical answer to the judges. However, the problem setters need to stick with small numbers so that the contestants can work out the answer by only using pen and paper. Because of this, some problems might be guessable. Given enough time, contestants might be able to stumble upon the correct answer using the Trial And Error (TAE) method. This means that some might get points even if they have no idea how to completely solve the problem given. In programming competitions, this feat is almost impossible to pull off.

In programming contests such as NOI.PH, to prove that they know how to answer the question, they must submit to the judges a Fast, Efficient, Correct, Error-free Solution by coding a program. Not only will the judges know that you have the correct answer, there is some sort of evidence (through your submitted program) that you did not just guess it.

In the next posts, we discuss a sample problem Aguinaldo to help you with the transition from solving math problems to solving programming problems. In particular, we divide the discussion into the following parts:

This is a work in progress. So check back every now and then.