Eindhoven went to NWERC

On November 25/26, NWERC 2017 took place in Bath (UK). Two teams with M&CS students participated in the international algorithmic programming contest, which will be hosted at the Eindhoven University of Technology in 2018 and 2019. One of the students wrote a short report about their experiences in Bath:

Friday morning 11:45 Bath train station. After much traveling, the Eindhoven delegation for the North Western European Regional Contest (NWERC) has arrived and is prepared to give it their best. This year's European semi-final of the World Championship competitive programming will take place this weekend and we want to win! But before the actual contest on Sunday, we still have a few extra steps to take. After some resting and exploring, it is time to register, hand in our keyboards and "cheatsheets" containing helpful algorithms, and ensuring that teams are enrolled correctly.

On Saturday the theme is entertainment and fun. We start with a test session, to get familiar with the system which will be used during the contest and to iron out all issues with them. It turned out that printing does not work correctly and that every computer becomes unresponsive every 5 minutes. Let's hope that this is fixed on Sunday. During lunch, we get an interesting lecture about machine learning after which, we head for a pub quiz where we battle different teams answering questions on everything from Computer Science to Bath, and from History to politics. Unfortunately, we did not perform well, but let's hope that it still holds that a bad dress rehearsal yields a good performance on Sunday!

Finally, the day has come, the day of the contest itself. All contestants are required to hand in all electronic devices to make sure no-one can cheat. Five tense hours of programming later, everyone emerges from the contest area to head to the award ceremony. Here the jury first explains all intended - and some unintended - solutions so everyone knows what they should have done. Then the moment of truth, the award ceremony. Our teams have reached the 31st and 97th place out of 120 total participating teams, which is a score we can be very proud of!

Not only did our teams perform very well this contest, some extra people from Eindhoven were also present to see how the event is organized. Since in 2018 and 2019, this contest will come to Eindhoven!

All in all, we can look back on a very fun, awesome, and productive weekend and look forward to hosting the contest in the coming two years.