For the past twenty-one years St. Bonaventure University's Computer Science
Department has hosted a programming contest for high school students.
Originally the contest attracted schools in Western New York and Northwestern
Pennsylvania. Over the years the contest has grown and teams have traveled to
Bonaventure from a wider area. In addition to schools from Buffalo,
Rochester, Ithaca, Pittsburgh, and Erie, schools from Ohio, Delaware, Virginia,
Maryland, and even California have participated. The contest provides an
opportunity for students to demonstrate their programming skills in a
The contest will be held on the St. Bonaventure University campus on a Friday,
Each team must be accompanied by a faculty advisor from their school. St.
Bonaventure University covers the cost of all materials and meals. The only cost
to participating schools is transportation to and from the campus. Participation
is restricted to 25 teams and participants are selected on a first-come,
first-served basis. Teams must register for the contest by January 25.
Schools will be sent more detailed information regarding the computer
facilities, contest rules, and sample contest problems once they have
Check-in for the teams begins at 8:00 a.m. and the orientation begins at 8:45
a.m. The final awards presentation will be completed by 2:00 p.m. Team awards
will be presented to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams. A large
"traveling" trophy, donated by Metrowerks, can be kept for one year by the team
that finishes first. McQuaid Jesuit High School from Rochester, NY, took
home the trophy last year, but it will up for grabs again on the 26th.
The contest is conducted in computer laboratories located on campus. All the
laboratories contain Windows XP-based personal computers that are linked by a
campus-wide local area network. Teams use the network to submit their programs.
A team consists of no more than four students from the same high school.
Students may only program in C++ or Java. Each team receives the same collection
of 6-8 problems. Scoring is based on how quickly each team submits correct
The Eclipse development environment is used for both Java and C++. The
programming environment is pre-configured with the projects for the problems so
that minimal knowledge of the Eclipse environment is required of the student
A professional development workshop is conducted during the contest for faculty
advisors. The topics covered in the workshop varies from year to year.
Most of the contest
problems require a team to write a complete program that meets given
specifications. Some of the contest problems will require the students to
write a program that uses a pre-defined class that we will provide at the time
of the contest. (Problems of this type have appeared in the contest the
last several years.) Instructions for practicing with class-based problems
are available at the contest web site.
Still other problems
are designed to emphasize the importance of complete testing when writing
programs. More specifically, these testing-based problems will present
students with a specification written in the same format as more traditional
problems. The students will also be presented with a web page that
features an applet that runs a partially correct solution to the problem.
It is up to the team to find an input data set such that the program on the web
page does NOT generate the correct answer for their input. Teams are
responsible for providing the correct answer for that input data as well.
sample testing-based problems are now available.
REGISTRATION: To register a team for the competition
please send an email with your contact information to
Steven Andrianoff, contest director.
Please register no later than Friday, January 29.