Fun Facts!

UCF has held the High School Programming Tournament annually since the first one in 1987. Here we have collected some of the fun facts about the contest.

  • A character named "Ali" has existed in every problem set since 1996 except for four years. Problem sets at the 1997, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2024 contests were missed; however, Ali appeared twice in 2008.
  • Ever wonder how we choose the ordering of the problems in our sets? Well, each year the Chief Judge tries to form a sentence out of the filenames of the problems. Some years come out better than others, though.
  • The judges hold a game each year where they try to guess the problem name and time of the first correct submission. "Price is Right" rules apply so it must be without going over! In the 2017 tournament, judge Elli Howard won it with "The Power of Two is a Serious Thing" at 1 minute!
  • Each year the judges give a number of "special awards" to teams that did something of note. These can include a late correct submission or even just something interesting about a solution!