AI Contests :: IT & Computer Engineering Freshmens Competition @ 2012-01-06

Introduction
Due to proceed in ACM Freshman AI competition last year, we decided to hold the same competition with a different game for freshman at University of Tehran on 6th January 2012.

Like the last year’s competition first year students were registered in game in four member groups. In a group meeting, and for a certain period of time they thought about the assigned problem, and shared their ideas. Having done this, with the aid of a capable programmer, who was a third- or fourth-year undergraduate student - chosen for and assigned to the group by the Chapter - they set about coding their solution. The programmers were advised that they could not comment on the algorithm suggested by the group, and would only answer questions regarding the game code, and call the functions, and as a whole, the conversion of the algorithm into the game code.

In the second part of this report, a description is presented of the game chosen by the Chapter members. In Section 3, the important reasons behind the selection of this specific game, and the goals we hoped to reach are given. Section 4 provides a description of the event and its staging. The report concludes with future plans that the Chapter aims to pursue with regard to these competitions.

Description of the game
The game chosen by the Student Chapter of the ACM for the Fall 2010 competition was “Icy Pro jectile Challenge Game”. This game was 2010 ICPC AI Challenge. Information regarding the specifications, and rules of the game can be obtained through the following link:
http://acm.ut.ac.ir/static/Contests/AI90/specification.pdf

We also provides a number of sample codes in a java and c++ to aid the programmers of the competition.

There was also a description written in Persian for the students which can be found in the following link:
http://acm.ut.ac.ir/static/Contests/AI90/specification-persian.pdf

As with all the other artificial intelligence competitions of recent years held by this Student Chapter, the Graphical User Interface was totally implemented and given to the participants along with the game core. Subsequently, the only part which needed to be programmed during the competition was the game solution algorithm. This part, which was provided with the help of the participants, consisted of a series of defined functions which had to be called. Thus, the main decision made in the solution algorithm was the order in which these functions were recalled.

The Competition
The competition was held Friday - Jan. 6, 2012 - from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and lunch was included. In order to save time, students registered for the competition in groups of four before the competition day and we had all 15 teams with their member names and team tags on tables ready before the competition.

At 8 AM the students were gathering in the computer hall of department and after all participants being present, the game of the competition and its rules was introduced to the students. Each team was provided with a detailed document about the game and a sample bot. After that, all groups had 2 hours to think about the strategy to solve the problem.

At 11 AM a coder -who was a 3rd or 4th year undergraduate student- was given to each team by random so they can help the team coding their strategy.

The deadline was 12:30 but it was extended for 30 minutes due to participant request. After that, team members had to leave the competition site and go to the lunch saloon till 2 PM. Coders  had the option to stay in the competition site -which they mostly did- or go to lunch with others; At 2 PM coders submitted their coded program to the judges and from then the judging process started in ACM Student Chapter room, near competition site.

All participants gathered in the competition site for the second part of competition. First some clips were played until judges finished their job, and then the competition got started at 3 PM. In this part AI agent codes competed against each other and the competition was shown on the wall using a projector while the result was projected on to another wall with another projector. The games began with 4 round-robin groups. Three of the groups had 4 teams, and one had 3 teams. From each group, two teams qualified for the quarter-final, and competed in a sudden-death bout.

At the end of the competition, the four members of the winning team were each presented with a stuffed sheep from Student Chapter, and also the team coder with a stuffed crow.

In addition to that all of the participants and staff got a memorial gift which was a Rubic Cube with a logo of UT ACM Student Chapter on its white side. This was given to participants when they came back from lunch and before starting the games.

The Path Ahead
Due to great results of these two years of this competition, and in order to make freshmen more familiar with what they can do with their knowledge and to motivate them for further activities, we believe these type of competitions are so useful and we hope this path continues in the next years.

AI Contest 90


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