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The Spring 2014 USC Programming Contest was held on Saturday, 04/05/2014, in labs RTH 109, and 115. Visit the page to see the problem set, sample solution, results, and pictures. The next USC programming contest will be held in Fall of 2014 (most likely in early October). Sign up for our mailing list to make sure to be alerted about this and other upcoming contests.

Have fun!
Extend your resume!
Show how smart you are!
Impress your friends!
Win cash and other prizes!
Represent USC at the ACM Programming Contest!

Do you like to solve problems like the following ones?

  • To pay your friends a dollar, you can give them, for example, four quarters, or five dimes and ten nickels. Write a program that calculates how many different combinations of coins there are that make up a given amount of money (say, 20 dollars) from pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.
  • You are given the description of a lake as a polygon, as well as your own position in a boat somewhere on the lake. When you throw a rock in the water, the waves travel away from the impact point at a speed of 1 meter per second. Write a program to calculate the earliest time at which a wave will hit the shore.
  • You are given the names of n people who are to be divided into k alphabetical segments, for instance, to stand in line for registration at USC. An "alphabetical segment" consists of all people whose last name starts with a letter between two given endpoints (for example, D-H). Write a program that finds a division into k alphabetical segments such that each person is in exactly one segment, and the number of people in the largest segment is minimized.

Participate in the USC Programming Contest!

The contest is open to all undergraduate and graduate USC students, regardless of major, as long as they were born in (current year - 23) or later.

We use the USC Programming Contests to pick students that we train for the ACM Regional Programming Contest. If you like all details of the USC Programming Contests and would like to keep updated about the contests, you can subscribe to the USC contest mailing list.


The USC Programming Contests are organized by David Kempe, Suya You, Jing, Huang, the USC ACM student chapter, and Upsilon Pi Epsilon of the Computer Science Department of USC. Please e-mail USCContest@gmail.com for more information.