Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a programming language other than C, C++, Java, or Python for the contest?

No. Allowing additional languages would cause more work for the Site Directors (who must install the necessary software) and the Regional Chief Judges (who must write judging utilities for the language).

Does it matter which language I use?

Contest problems are designed with C++ and Java programmers in mind, so C programmers may be at a disadvantage. C++ and Java are roughly comparable, so pick whichever one you’re most familiar with.

Timing does matter for Python. Python is good where the issue is in coding time, not in run-time. Python is still OK if most of the time is in optimized built-in functions.

What mathematical knowledge is needed for the contest?

Up to 25% of the Mid-Central Regional Competition may include higher math as described below. That means a maximum of 1 problem out of a contest with 6-7 problems, or 2 problems out of 8-11.

Higher math may include:

  • matrix operations: multiplication, addition, subtraction; solving a matrix equation
  • 3D vector operations: addition, scalar multiplication, dot product, cross product, triple scalar product as volume
  • root finding of continuous functions by bisection
  • calculus of one variable topics: finding extrema with the help of derivatives

In other situations needed mathematical formulas will be provided, for instance for statistics.