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Frequently Asked Questions


I can't log onto this site

This site (vthspc.cs.vt.edu) is not the site where the contest is taking place. Go to this URL: vthspc.kattis.com


Why is the start time at noon this year?

This is to accommodate teams on the West Coast.


Will there be a designated lunch time?

No - we have no way of stopping the contest and restarting it. Teams are encouraged to have lunch on their own.


What if my school does not sponsor the contest this year?

We really appreciate teachers putting in the extra effort and time that is required to work with teams and to participate on a Saturday (and so should you!), but if for whatever reason no teacher is available, find another parent sponsor or coach that is not part of your team. This person would be the person to function as a contact point and they would be trusted with ensuring that your team follows the rules, particularly the limitation to one computer per team and not seeking human help.


Can I participate if I'm not enrolled in a high school?

We expect that you are enrolled in a K12 program working towards a high school diploma (or IB or similar). In the United States, K12 means Kindergarten - 12th grade, so it includes the age range roughly from 5-19 years. If you're in Middle School and want to try, we recommend you look at some past year's contests before deciding.


Can we use generative AI such as GPT-4, CoPilot, or similar tools?

No. This contest explores human skills, not AI skills.


Will the participants be able to search online for anything that they are unsure of during the contest?

During an ICPC on-site contest, Internet use is prohibited. For this contest, however, the answer is yes. Participants may use the Internet. However, they may not use the Internet to seek help from any individual outside of their team. We trust the on-site coaches to enforce this rule.


Is there a certain IDE they need to use to write their code in?

No. You may use any environment you're familiar with, as long as it allows you to retrieve a single source file containing your code.


Will students be allowed to bring their own laptops, ensuring that it is three people per one laptop?

On-site coaches have the responsibility to ensure that a computer (and backups, if desired) are available for each team. We also recommend access to a networked or cloud-based printer so that teams can print source code.


Will you publish the names of the student contestants?

We plan to publish and acknowledge the names, affiliation of the students and coaches of the first 3 top-placed contestants, with their permission. For all other contestants, only the chosen display name and school will appear on the scoreboard.