Nerdiness. Engineered

Okay.. this post is meant for everyone’s eyes except one person’s…. you know who you are, and you’ve been told to wait for this… so until you get back to college, do not under any circumstances scroll down or read any further; we’re assured your reaction is going to be priceless and video-worthy.

As for the rest of you… here goes.

There’s something called the Pumping Lemma for Regular Languages. And there’s something else called Marathon @ Comps Events @ Engineer 2008. Now Marathon is a multistage team event spread over three days of Engineer 2008. Let me digress here to say it went off pretty much godawesome… great work, guys. Anyways… the first round was a mixed bag of questions, and along with having to guess “Pirates of Silicon Valley” from the poster, the names of all the authors of CLR, fooling around with an inverted binary tree, Maloo thought it’d be good to state the Pumping Lemma and ask people what theorem it is.

And PersonWhoIsNotSupposedToReadThis, please quit right here, coz we are coming to the crux of the matter. As it happened, people said the movie was called “The Cryptographers”, “The CodeHackers” and whatnot, and that Introduction to Algorithms was written by Clark, Liebermann, River… but what took the cake was one answer we got.

KK was in a state of complete shock as he read out “This is Theorem 8.13 (Chandrashekhar and Mishra<that’s the name of the book we learned the lemma from>). The rest of us did a double-take and gave the usual expected reactions. The next line read “Seminar(ed) by XYZ“. Most people didn’t quite follow that, and those of us from the IT class burst out laughing – XYZ had taught us the Pumping Lemma as part of a seminar (pretty well, too, I must add). I recognized the names on the answer sheet to be of a bunch of my friends. Now these friends are known to be übergeeks and toppers (that’s a compliment, btw), and I correctly reasoned this was their joke. And a neat, effective one at that. It proved to raise a good laugh, and was a good story to retell, and we got some godawesome reactions too.

Just a couple of hours ago, something happened that took the bakery.

XYZ of the seminar fame was christened Pumping Lemma due to this, and someone went to him to explain why.

The story was repeated.

Reaction was watched for.

XYZ’s reaction: Cha.. that’s theorem 4.3, not theorem 8.13


So… What’s your reaction?


I’ve written only 426 words so far… too short by my standards. So I use the rest of the space here to yap about Comps Events @ Engineer 2008… VBounty…. awesome questions, awesome servers….. awesome quality participation. Tul, Gudur, great it was, working with you… the best part was when I discovered the night before the event that a toughie I had set was invalidated because the page which contained the answer was taken off the Net! And Mr. Sahoo… that was a really great interface you had designed. I have no words to praise it.

Marathon… damn fun to try out, four rounds that were crazily taxing for us, especially the comp-based events, but man… were they fun or were they fun. KS, SKLD, Vijeth… too awesome a job. Nice memories made… of Maloo and me turning off all the systems before we realized that we need to upload all the contestants’ entries on to the server, and then we didn’t know which systems had been used and which ones not! It took us an hour and a half to get all the answer files uploaded…. all to do with the temperature. Then we found Engi mess was closed.. hadn’t even had breakfast… and NFC was too crowded. Lunch at Amul and man, the airconditioning in DigiLib saved our lives, and possibly that of others who would have been at the receiving end of our irritated diatribes. And the question-setting for the finals was some Level last-minute job, as was also the ppt. The best bit was, an outstation team came and told us it was “very professionally done” 😀

Kode Kombat… great to watch bots fight it out… the fragging, the suicides, the indiscriminate bombing, the attacking bots, the defensive bots, the learning bot (I think)… Great work from both sides – the participants as well as the organizers. SKLD, Sagar, Pondy… and the team from VNIT who couldn’t be present to watch their bot win. Guys, your bot was godawesome…. if you do read this, put algo details.

And… Rectify…. our debugging event. It was a great idea to have a TopCoder-style Challenge Round. For people unaware of what a Challenge Round is, you have an arena with some n people coding a few problems. The server gives them points for their solutions – that’s the first round. The second round is where everyone’s code is visible to everyone else, and you can challenge other programs with test cases that cause them to fail. A successful challenge reduces the other program’s marks to zero, and gives you points, while an unsuccessful one simply loses you points.

And here’s a round of applause to the brilliant guys who actually got this working… I don’t think any other techfest has had such a round anywhere. Vaibhav, Bharat and Anup, full credit to you guys and your enthu. We’re damn sure next year will be even better with you folks at the helm. I’ll say it one more time… it was godawesome. *Standing Ovation*

And… the rest of us who set prelims, Marathon finals, and other problems… and gen other stuff… had a blast working together, didn’t we? I know I did. And this is one memory I will really treasure.. All the stabbing, the participation being fully throttled by other inconsequential events, the accomodations we did, the tensions, the 11th hour question-setting, and THE PJs… right from when we first created that googlegroup, right from when we were wondering if geNetSys would be a good name for a network design event, to the moment when we started off the Marathon final quiz, to when the Events co-ord said Kode Kombat can easily get a lot more sponsors and audience next time to “It’s all over da… our last Engi done…”. We know we made a great team, and I really wish we could do this more often. Maloo, Bigshow, Prat, KK (no, that isn’t Kode Kombat, or the guy who sings in the movies and is performing at Inci-08), Koli, Pradhan, Sarvesh… and also BK, Seena, Arun and everyone else who made this such an enjoyable experience. Oh, and two admits too, which came in right before and right after our events 😀 . Bigshow, KK, congrats again.

Now we have only Inscription left. Do tell all the coders you know, that this is happening on 23rd Feb 2008, Sunday, teams of three. Participation open to ALL, irrespective of nationality, education, age…. no bars whatsoever. All you need is a C/C++/Java compiler, and a Net connection, and possibly two friends.

And again…. CS/IT rocketh. Totally.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
This entry was posted in Flashback, Life at NITK, NITK Nostalgia and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Nerdiness. Engineered

  1. Arun says:

    Whew, that just totally sums up the engi..
    To add to the pumping lemma incident, I’m proud to claim that i was the first person to break the news to mr.XYZ and hence got the first hand reaction from him! hurray

  2. Vikram says:

    So jealous not being part of your wonderful team ;). My hats off for all you guys, who made Engineer’08 seem more like a CompsFest than a TechFest.

  3. wanderlust says:

    @ arun:
    when you people tell the person who’ll give video-worthy reactions, be sure to record the event.
    @ vikram:
    compsfest?! now there’s a compliment!

  4. Bharath Kumar A.R says:

    our team won third place in KK(Kodekombat). More than an algo. our program implemented strategies (as i would like to call them).

    (I am sure these things dont make any sense to a person who has not read the problem statement or atleast seen the bots play)

    few of them are:
    1) never step into a unsafe grid
    2) assign targets grid to each bot..once the target is reached change the target… so that they go all round the board breaking bricks and bombimg opponents (if possible)
    3)place bomb only if a “L” move is possible
    4)try as much as possible not to get back to the same grid from where u have come (to avoid loops)

    etc…(not to bore u too much on this)

    It was a simple 600 lines of C code, as most of the error conditions were take care of, by the drivers.

    it ws really exciting to behind and see our bots play for us.

  5. Devika says:

    Engi rocks da.. This is just a very minor part of it.. Even your words had describe all the fun we have at engi 🙂

  6. Logik says:

    ENGINEER 2008… The best one so far.. and I surely hope our junior bacchas, will take over from this, and do stuff that even OUR ENGINEER has not done, and here is me wishing the soon-to-be TEAM ENGINEER 2009, advance wishes..

    @Compsfest- a neat compliment. Vbounty, no glitches for the first time, in 4 years. KodeKOmbat – excellent interface, importance to the algo. Other events I did not see much. And Inscription – People – start spreading the word. Any vacant white space on the net is your billboard. Spamming is a bad thing to do. But the ends serve the means. So on to it, people…

    @ENGINEER 2008- Meticulously planned, brilliantly executed. All round improvement from previous years. 650 people attending a tech fest, 1500 participating in online events? Unheard of … As one of the comments in the out station feedback form aptly said, ” I am all praises for NITK Surathkal “.
    One round of applause for TEAM ENGINEER. and some more….

    @this post: Brilliant,as usual…

  7. theG says:

    not really. NITW had tried a topcoder style thing in my final year. they sucked big time and it got slammed on tc forums. too lazy to go and search the thread out, but you can check it out.

  8. Karan (KK) says:

    Excellent Team Work!!! Great Event!!!!

    I wish we had more days…. These memories will long till, say…….. infinity hehe 😀
    Thanks Again Priya …. for
    1) Lovely Post
    2) “KK” clarification
    3) Pics
    where n>infinity
    All the Best!!!

  9. aNoop says:

    wow – this post summs up the enthu and energy of teh fest very much.. congratz to all you who toiled to make it topnotch 🙂 topcoder – first time hearing abt a kobat like that. great concept 🙂

  10. iNOsaint says:

    hmm.. me had dropped by with a couple of friends to look around and somehow ended up watching Kode Kombat finals. initially we cudnt make out a thing and somehow figured out that it was preprogrammed bots maybe using C. anyways now planning to take part in Inci..see u then!!

  11. Maloo says:

    There is sooooo much to say,because there was so much to experience!
    We absolutely had a crazy time – running around for the smallest of things, corecting papers,rescheduling,accomodating late comers,expecting more and people for our events,writing year specific publicity mails…phew! But you know wat, It was all worth it and we all know it. 😀

    It may sound cliche’ but I’ll definately remember this for a long time!

    Anup, Bharath, Vaibhav – All i want to do is *Standing Ovation* ;m already planning to come next year and see the awesomeness you guys will pull off!

    Big, KK, Priya, KS, Prarth, Koli, Sarvesh,Saiish – All i want to say is…yippeeeee! 🙂 (say yayyyy!)

  12. wanderlust says:

    accomodating…. man, our events got fully throttled, didnt they… but then, it slighta worked in our favor.
    maloo-man, ha faaav to you and big for pulling it all together. i have nothing to say to your comment other than “yeah! agree!”, and of course, yaaaayyyyyy!

  13. Tuna Fish says:

    Good experience… but somehow dint get the mental kick i wanted from it

  14. sreeram says:

    Great work guys…doing a 3 day event at this scale is pretty tough no went smooth though….i enjoyed the cocktail of questions lined up for us…shuffling between theory n pracs…every round was fierce considering the number of teams n the fact that 3rd years were smashin them better(hats off)…but providence had other plans …
    All in all marathon fun !!!

  15. Monkey says:

    Wow. I got not a word of it. My ignorance is complete.

  16. Bharath says:

    Theorem 4.3.. no page number yet eh?
    Anyway, i totally had fun! wish i could’ve been there for the whole thing though..
    Looks like you guys had a blast!!
    Three cheers for the comps committee 🙂

  17. Siri says:

    Ohhh! Sounds like amazing fun! Congratulations on pulling it off!
    How I wish I were any good at anything tech 😦 Damn, I would have loved to come!


  18. Pradhan says:

    Jus wanna say that it was wonderful to be a part of such a fun team… Though felt sad after engi got over, wanted it to be for couple of more days…

  19. wanderlust says:

    wow, i should have replied before…. why didnt i!!
    anyways.. here goes:
    your defending bot was good da… congrats on winning – as you put it – the last given prize in the last event of our last engi in our last semester at last.
    make it more rocking next year, girl… one tip: start early on publicity.
    nice comment, rounding off everything. and again, yay, team engi!
    sucked, eh? obs.
    inci, uh? come have a blast, kk and all.
    thanks 🙂 glad you enjoyed it.
    seriously?! that was unintentional.
    yeah, surprising no one’s taken the name of page number yet.

  20. wanderlust says:

    damn, i missed replying to KK. here goes:
    godawesome it was, no? anyways…. after hearing your thanks, i get a corny line from OSO in my head… you know the one….. the one that ends with “no sorry no thankyou..”. 😀
    hey, how come no PJ here?

  21. Puneet says:

    I was not directly a part of the comps team but enjoyed every minute of it as u guys did.. KS and Karthik more or less posted me on wat was going on.. Though I’d still not call it a CompsFest.. the comps events do deserve a spl praise.. all thanks to the wonderful team we had. One thing I’m sure of.. wanna see better and well conducted comps events.. visit NITk around next Engineer.. nowhere else will u find them..


  22. Vaibhav says:

    Its funny how I came across this post so randomly after such a long time! Was gen hunting for this years engi publicity and found this – made for an awesome read! :). Seems like a very very long time ago now.

    • wanderlust says:

      When i randomly come across pics of engi ’08 on my screensaver or something, i wonder if it really has been so long ago. it HAS been a long time! two and a half years! hard to believe time flies so fast! reading my old post, i realize those were some real fun times we had! didn’t realize how much! (so many exclamation marks should probably tell you how i feel about this 🙂 )

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