UKIEPC - The UK/IE Programming Contest

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UKIEPC is part of the ACM ICPC

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Find out about the UKIEPC 2019 contest - which will be held on the 19th October 2019


UKIEPC 2018 took place on the 20th October 2018, between 11:00-16:00pm. Around 550 students from 26 universities, in 200 teams at 20 locations around the UK and Ireland.

UKIEPC Contest Sites

Current and Previous UKIEPC contest sites include:

  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Bath
  • Imperial College London
  • Dublin City University
  • Cambridge University
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Exeter

What is the UKIEPC?

The UKIEPC is the UK & Ireland Subregional Contest for NWERC (the Northwestern Europe European Regional Contest), of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). UKIEPC is a practice competition, held annually (starting in 2013) to help universities pick teams to travel to NWERC. The contest does not automatically determine which teams may progress to NWERC, but universities may pitch their teams against other universities around UK and Ireland, to help decide who should be sent. NWERC typically accepts up to 2 teams from each university.

The event itself is organised in a distributed manner. It is physically hosted at several universities around the UK and Ireland. The same problemset is used at all sites. The scores are gathered electronically, and the results can be viewed against other local teams, and teams across the UK and Ireland.

The contest is suitable for programmers of almost all skill levels, from beginner to expert, as the problem set always has both very easy and very difficult problems. There are also separate score tables for the local sites, UK & Ireland level, and even against the entire Nordic contest (while we use their infrastructure). This means you can choose on which level you want to compare yourself.

All the UKIEPC locations belong to the Northwestern European region in the ICPC system. The Northwestern Europe Programming Contest (NWERC) is usually held in the middle of November.

The rules for the UKIEPC are the same as for the ICPC regional contests. In UKIEPC, you are allowed to bring any printed or handwritten material to the contest. No machine readable media or electronic equipment may be brought.

What is the ICPC?

The ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is a world-wide contest for students and professionals, with local and regional events, and a world final. The contest is about programming skills, problem solving and teamwork. In short terms, teams of up to three students try to solve as many programming problems as possible from a given problem set, using only one computer. See for example the problems from NCPC 2012 to get the general idea. You may use C, C++ or Java; This year, the NCPC will most likely also allow all the languages that Kattis supports, which includes Python, C#, Go and Objective-C, but these may NOT be available at NWERC.

The ICPC has grown to become very large. Thousands of teams from thousands universities world wide compete in the regional contests which lead up to the World Finals. Less than a hundred team get to go there, but many teams from UK and Ireland have been there the last years.

How do I Participate?

On the web-page for current contest there should be a list of sites hosting the contest. Choose the nearest university that you can get to and then simply register through the online registration system before the deadline.

If you want to participate but don't have a complete team of three please contact your local contest director so they can try to help you connect with other people without teams.

If your university is not on the list, or there is not a location near by, then you should try to make them host the contest! Maybe you could find a professor teaching programming classes, and make him interested in arranging the contest! It is a great opportunity for inspiring students and showing that programming is fun. If no professor is interested, maybe you could get a PhD student or similar to help.

Being a UKIEPC Host

If you want to hold a local contest at your university, please contact this years UKIEPC director (see the current contest page)

Being a host is very simple - all you need is

  • A lab available at the weekend, with computers that have compilers on them
  • Access to the web to submit problems through a browser
  • A responsible member of staff to supervise the contest at your university
  • You may wish to sign up to the UKIEPC Organizers (and Coaches) Mailing List