Programming Olympiads, a look from NSU. Article 3 - work of the organizing committee

    Hello again! Two articles about olympiad programming in general and NSUshnoe in particular have already been published on Habré. Unfortunately, they were too full of technical details, sometimes not interesting to the person from the outside (or requiring additional clarification). Today I will try to correct this oversight. The third article in the series will be about the back of the coin. On technology, the Olympics can go, but without a human resource is difficult. There are so many things around the All-Siberian that in the heat of competition, participants may not notice. But all this is well known to lovely girls from the organizing committee, about whose work (and not only about them) I will tell today.

    For those who have just switched to our channel:

    The first article is about drafting tasks.
    The second article is about testing systems.
    The fourth article is about the tour itself.

    I myself took a small part in the work of the organizing committee. He helped the girls at the registration, a little bit helped when checking jobs. But this is just a small fraction of what our girls do with their fragile hands =)

    What happens before the Olympics

    The All-Siberian Olympiad begins long before September. Just a couple of days ago, I received an invitation to take part in the X Open All-Siberian Olympiad on the newsletter. Newsletter is the first step. Of course, the teams themselves must remember about our great and powerful tournament, but once again they say that we remember them, love and wait - they won’t be superfluous =)

    Next is the online tour. This is already a test before the battle, since all Novosibirsk teams are invited to write tasks in the terminal blocks of NSU. Consequently, the running-in of the technology that has been established over many years immediately passes. Registration, draw, round. Here, it seems, nothing particularly complicated was not.

    When the results of the online tour are known, the jury decides on the “passing score” for the full-time tour. Then a special good person after publishing the list of invitees begins to correspond with the teams. You need to find out if they will really participate in the onsite, where they want to settle down and tell other little things about the type of weather (although it’s a little confusing to ask about the weather 3 weeks before the tournament). Shortly before the tournament, a very detailed guide with a common destination - NSU - is sent to the teams. It tells how to get to our alma mater from the railway, bus and airport terminals (it seems that the teams have not yet sailed to Rechnaya, although there is a delivery option), which buses to choose and what words to say to taxi drivers if they are not aware of world prices for the transportation of great minds at NSU.

    That was about the participants. But besides them there are also computers for which the Olympiad will be written. They must also be looked after, and very carefully. Administrators of terminal computers, along with very smart Jedi from the jury, prepare the images of the systems that will be installed in the terminal classes. What is required is the presence of programming environments (Visual Studio, some Delphi, Free Pascal and Eclipse), the work of the compilers specified in the description of the Olympics from the command line, and the inability of participants to stick their nose further than the jury would like. In preparing and testing, the active teams of the NSU often help, because the olympiads who are now in the magazine know better what the basic minimum should be on working machines. Thus, over the past two years, the availability on Far machines with the Colorer plugin and a local copy of javadoc has been “pushed”. In the last of the paragraphs, I took a direct part.

    The organizers also help with the purchase of all kinds of nishtyachok for tours, for example: chocolates, mineral water, napkins and other edible nonsense.

    In anticipation of the tour.

    The face-to-face tour for the organizing team begins in two days. First, you need to prepare badges for the participants, the jury and the organizing committee, as well as prepare a souvenir for the participants (and grab yourself a little :)). The day before the first round, nonresident teams start to drive up for registration. They need to be met, registered, held to the cash register and loved as relatives. And then - resettle.

    Resettlement is a separate story. Some teams settle in the hotel, others in the hostels. Who is going to - is decided depending on the desire of the teams and their distribution in the table (NSU reserves a certain number of places in the hotel, the issuance of which is priority to the place in the qualifying round table). With a hotel, it seems, these are the last misunderstandings. With hostels more fun. It is necessary to distribute the teams among the hostels, because we have a decent number of them. And it may happen that the guests of a conference held by another faculty will occupy the same place (as it was already, communication between the faculties here, alas, sometimes at the Stone Age level). We need to explain to the security guards that we are not terrorists and that presenting receipts for payment at 4 o’clock on Saturday morning is an extremely interesting quest, especially when the ticket office opens on Monday. We must once again take into account the desire of the teams + to take into account the female factor (there are not many girls who come, but they are there, and in order to observe chastity in student dormitories they do not need to be accommodated with guys; although there was one precedent :)). It is also important to consider that some teams do not like each other so much that they cannot even eat. But in general, the situation is friendly and no one remains on the street for sure.

    Olympics directly.

    On the day of the tours, the work of the organizers is simple. Admins + jury before rounds roll already prepared image of system on working computers. The girls smile affably and help teams find their place in life in general and in terminal classes in particular. Help with any technical problems. For example, once a good and smart boy Seryozha issued (literally): “My mouse doesn’t work, and in safety I signed that I won’t touch the wires.” Organizing committee members also help to deal with such problems. They take care that the teams should behave as befits a noble don. They are also given the fragile shoulders to issue service chocolate bars and juices during the tour (a pleasant trifle that helps to support oneself).

    The organizing committee also helps the jury to stay separate from the participants and vice versa. Communication with the jury takes place either through the testing system, where there is a special point, or, in especially advanced cases, through the organizing committee. The organizers also deal with different handouts. They distribute envelopes with the task before the rounds, program listings to the teams that ordered the printout and help in the fight against our favorite proxy server (although it is fraught with disqualification in the face-to-face tour, the outer world is cut to the maximum there; only very cynical FIT students managed to get out) .

    Well, 5 hours have passed and the tour is over. The first thing you need to clean terminalki. Return them to their original state, throw out the garbage, if necessary - rearrange the computers. And then the most interesting thing is preparing the elephants for distribution. The organizing committee is one of the first to know the alignment of teams and they have to remain silent for the rest of the day. Well, it’s not so difficult, because it’s enough to put our team on the look that it’s enough to put pressure on the organizing committee, because you (that is, us) have connections in the jury.

    So, about the elephants. The prize pool is usually very large and very diverse. At least the last 3 years of souvenir products are enough for all the losers. And then, when they approach the best of the best, questions begin. Firstly, it is important to consider that the winnings must also be delivered to the place. I don’t think it would be very convenient for the same Petersburgers to take 3 printers home. But some kind of PDA is the most. Secondly, since the contingent of participants is undergoing evolution, then 60 percent of the final participants of the current All-Siberian Exhibition have already participated and received prizes. Therefore, you need to consider what to give them this time to avoid repetition. It even comes to the ridiculous. Once a team from Petrozavodsk was asked what they should give. Just like in "Field of Miracles."

    Well, the next day you need to smile a lot and diligently, help the representatives of the sponsors to present the sponsors with dignity, the prize-winners - to hand them well, and the teams - not to grease the impression of the award. Debriefing usually does not take place. They all just swear to themselves that they will never again get involved in this business. And in a year Vsesib will be organized again, with instructions "and so as not to be disgraced, as in the past year." And do not disgrace, not without reason is NSU =).

    The next article, the last about the organization of the Olympiad, will directly tell you what and how happens during the tours (on the example of the long-suffering Vsesib). It will be interesting. For me - for sure.

    For help in writing this article, I want to say a special thank you to Natasha Popova, who has already passed 7 olympiads (5 All-Siberian and 2 ROI) as an organizer for interesting memories and facts.

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