Wednesday, February 17, 2010


UBC has a two week break due to the Vancouver Olympics. I have been using the time to work on various programming projects. I have become involved in a number of contests:

-RoboCup: A robot soccer contest. I am working on the AI for the robots. We recently sent in qualification materials. If we qualify, we get to compete at RoboCup 2010 in Singapore this summer. Last year we went to Austria for the contest.

-ImagineCup: Our team is planning to compete in the game design category. We haven't done much implementation yet, but we plan on creating a text adventure game (plus some simple graphics). If we make it to the finals we get to go to Poland this summer.

-Son of Darts: I just started this contest a couple of days ago. I am currently ranked 145th out of 368 competitors. I am using stochastic local search to optimize the solutions.

-BattleCode: A fun AI programming contest. Last year our team did pretty well.

This break I am also planning on submitting a paper about PPM to a NLP workshop. I also need to study for a big midterm happening in two weeks. It is going to be a busy break!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Harbin Trip

Over the last week I have been in China attending the ACM ICPC World Finals. The trip was really fun. I got invited to come even though I am not a competitor since I might be part of the UBC team next year. Six people from UBC came (one coach, three competitors and another guest). Harbin is in the northern part of China so was extremely cold. The temperature was usually between -10 to -30 Celsius. I have posted pictures of my trip here. There were a lot of activities organized by ACM so there wasn't much time to explore Harbin ourselves. Harbin is famous for ice and snow sculptures. There were sculptures lining the streets all over the city.

UBC did well at the finals. They got 18th place. I think UBC's record is 13th place. Here is the final scoreboard. There were three North American teams which did better: Stanford, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. These teams only did better on time and did not solve more problems than UBC. All three members of this year's team are not eligible to compete again next year. Based on the performance of the second and third UBC teams, it is extremely unlikely we will be nearly as good next year.