The Internet Programming Contest: A Report and Philosophy


Owen Astrachan, Vivek Khera, and David Kotz. The Internet Programming Contest: A Report and Philosophy. Proceedings of the SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, pages 48–52. ACM, February 1993. doi:10.1145/169070.169105. ©Copyright ACM. Revision of astrachan:contest-tr.


Programming contests can provide a high-profile method for attracting interest in computer science. We describe our philosophy as it pertains to the purpose and merits of programming contests as well as their implementation. We believe that we have successfully combined the theoretical and practical aspects of computer science in an enjoyable contest in which many people can participate.

The contests we describe have distinct advantages over contests such as the ACM scholastic programming contest. The primary advantage is that there is no travel required — the whole contest is held in cyberspace. All interaction between participants and judges is via electronic mail.

Of course all contests build on and learn from others, and ours is no exception. This paper is intended to provide a description and philosophy of programming contests that will foster discussion, that will provide a model, and that will increase interest in programming as an essential aspect of computer science.

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Keywords: [education]

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