How should I prepare for the competition?

The best way to practice is by solving the problems from previous competitions. You can find this all on our archive page. We will use Kattis to run the competition, so all the problems will be given in a similar input/output format to those seen in the Open Kattis Archive.

How many people can be on my team?

Teams must have a minimum of two students and a maximum of four students.

How many teams can we have?

We allow for two teams per school to attend our in-person competition (we may allow more based on registration time and available space). Any number of teams can join in the virtual open division.

What languages can we use?

You can use C++, Python, Java or JavaScript.

We recommend that everyone on your team know at least one of these languages in common. We additionally recommend that teams practice submitting solutions on Kattis because the input/output is done in a very specific manner that students may not be familiar with.

Ensure that your team knows how to take in Kattis input before the competition day; see the Kattis input tutorial for more details. We will also send out a link to a practice competition to practice submitting code.

What difficulty of problems are there?

Starting in the 2024 competition, we will only have one division for everyone. There will be 12-15 problems, and about a third will be "beginner", a third "novice", and a third "advanced" difficulty.

"Beginner" problem concepts include: arithmetic, expressions, conditionals, and lists.

"Novice" problems concepts include: loops, nested loops, lists, and maybe some data structures.

"Advanced" problems concepts include: data structures (maps, sets) and algorithms (sorting/BFS/DFS)

View last year's beginner problems and last year's advanced problems for a good idea of the range of difficulty for all of our problems.

What editors do the competition computers have?

The competition computers run on Ubuntu and have the following programs installed:

IDEs: IntelliJ IDEA, PyCharm, Eclipse, CLion.

Editors: Visual Studio Code, IDLE, emacs, vim

How long is the competition?

The actual competition will be open for 4 hours, from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM Mountain Time. There are opening and closing ceremonies lasting an hour at the start and end of the competition.

Can I bring my own device?

Yes. However, we find that using less computers benefits team problem solving ability as there is more opportunity for collaboration. See the rules for details.