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About The Africa and Arab Collegiate Programming Championship

The Africa and Arab Collegiate Programming Championship (ACPC) is a qualifying round for the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). ACPC is organized in the same spirit and is governed by all applicable rules of the ICPC. Winners of an ACPC contest qualify to the ICPC World Finals. An ACPC Regional Contest is normally held during November/December of each year, whereas the ICPC World Final is held in March/April of the following year.

The Arab Collegiate Programming Contest

The first Arab Collegiate Programming Contest (then called The Arab & North Africa Regional Contest (ANARC)) was hosted by Al Akhawayn University in 1998 thanks to the efforts of Mr. Sidi Ali Maelainin, then Associate Director for Development at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. Eight Universities from four countries participated in the first ANARC. Since then, the contest have witnessed significant participation. In 2007, 45 teams from 9 countries participated in the Tenth Regional Contest hosted by The Arab Academy for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Egypt. In 2012, 91 teams participated in the fifteenth Regional Contest hosted by The princess Sumaya University, Amman, Jordan. In 2013, 105 teams participated in the sixteenth Regional Contest hosted by The Arab Academy for Science and Technology , Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The International Collegiate Programming Contest

The International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is organized and conducted yearly under the auspices of The Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). Started in 1970 at Texas A&M University, with the first World Finals held in 1977. The contest have then grown exponentially in the number of participating universities. In 2012/2013, 29,863 students from 2322 universities in 91 countries competed for the bragging rights of being the World’s Programming Champions.

The International Collegiate Programming Contest provides college students an opportunity to demonstrate and sharpen their problem solving and computing skills. The contest is a multi-tiered competition among teams of students representing institutions of higher education. The winning teams of the national contests advance to the regional contests, and the winning teams of the regional contests advance to the contest finals. The 2015 World Finals will be held on May, 2015 in Morocco.

The Contest

The contest lasts for five hours. Students compete in teams against teams from other Universities. Each team is made of three students who pass the eligibility rules for the specific year. Each team has to solve a set of about ten problems using a single computer. Solutions involve writing program using C, C++, or JAVA. Team solutions’ are run against a secret test data and their output are compared to that of a Judges’ program. Teams are ranked based on the number of problems they manage to solve and the penalties they accumulate. Penalties reflect the time taken to solve a problem and the number of failed attempts. Contestants may bring reference materials such as books and manuals; but neither machine-readable versions nor electronic devices are allowed.

To get an idea on how to get contestants ready, including an archive of the problems previously used in ANARC and ICPC, go to this page. For more detailed information about the contest, check the RuleBook!

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