Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

2008 ACM-ICPC Pacific Northwest Contest

Yesterday I competed in the regional ACM programming contest. There were 85 teams competing in our region. Here is the final ranking for the top five places:

1) Stanford
2) Stanford
3) University of California, Berkeley
4) UBC ^
5) UBC *

This was really frustrating because only two teams advance from a region to the world final (which is in Sweden this year). Since only one team can advance per university, UBC was only one spot away from advancing. There is actually still a chance that UBC might get to advance however, since there is a wildcard slot. I was on the UBC * team. We were ridiculously close to solving another problem in the last few minutes. If we had solved it, we would have jumped to 2nd place. We made a submission with about two minutes left which failed because it took too long to execute. However, with a minor modification to the code (just one or two lines) our solution probably would have run under the time limit. Both of my teammates were doing really well during the contest and did the majority of the work. They will both be at UBC next year, so I'm sure that their team will do really well at the next regional. Here were the results from last year's regional:

1) UBC ^
2) UBC *
3) Stanford
4) Simon Fraser University
5) University of California, Berkeley

Friday, November 14, 2008

Grad School Applications

I have finally decided on a list of schools I will be applying to:

University of California, Berkeley
Carnegie Mellon University
University of Washington
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Waterloo
McGill University
University of Alberta
University of British Columbia
University of Toronto

Most of the applications are due mid-December. I have a ridiculous amount of work due in the next two weeks, followed by final exams (which are all within 7 days). Hopefully I'll manage to submit the applications without having to sacrifice studying time. I will be so happy once finals are finished, instantly switching between having an overwhelming amount of work to having absolutely no work at all. Over Christmas vacation I will be traveling around southern India.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


A few hours ago I was automatically "upgraded" to a new version of Hotmail. I am not picky about what additional features an email client has or how stylish the interface is as long as I can conveniently read/send emails. I have had my Hotmail account for about five years. When Gmail came out I decided not to switch since I didn't want to go through the hassle of changing my contact information. With the newest version of Hotmail I am finally considering making the switch.

When logging into Hotmail I am greeted with this page:
It tells me to upgrade my browser despite the fact that I am using Firefox version 3.0.3, the latest version for Linux. After logging in it takes me two clicks to reach my inbox (which is two clicks too many in my opinion).

This is what happens when I try to compose an email:
Notice that the text formatting buttons are grayed out. I tried clicking on the whitespace below that panel to find that there is no text box. That's right, there is absolutely no way for me to send emails because I don't have any way to enter text. I am probably not the only person with this problem. With the most critical functionality of Hotmail broken, I have no choice but to switch providers.