Here are some problems from past programming contests. They are in Portable Document Format. Some systems come with programs which can read PDF files, and many web browsers have this feature built in. If your system and browser don't include PDF readers, try this link to Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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(Note that some of the problem descriptions refer to sample data on
floppy disks, or on web pages set up just for the contest. Some of
those data sets are not currently available.)
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Our 2018 contest problem was based on a simple heuristic for evaluating board positions in the game Hex. You can download the sample data sets: sample1.txt, sample2.txt, sample3.txt, and the three test data sets: test1.txt, test2.txt, test3.txt. This problem also had an introductory presentation.

Solving the
2017 contest problem
required programming a robot simulation.
You can also download the sample data sets:
sample1.txt,
sample2.txt,
and the three test data sets:
test1.txt,
test2.txt,
test3.txt.
This problem also had an
introductory presentation.

(Here is a summary of mistakes discovered by the judges:
Lessons2017.)

The 2016 contest problem considered various strategies used for automated spelling correction. You can also download the sample data set: sample1.txt, and the two test data sets: test1.txt, test2.txt. This problem also had an introductory presentation.

The
2014 contest problem
was based on strategies for winning the 2048

puzzle which
became popular in March of that year.
You can also download the three sample data sets:
sample1.txt,
sample2.txt,
sample3.txt,
and the two test data sets:
test1.txt,
test2.txt.

Solutions to the 2013 contest problem examined a board position in the game Battleship and chose the best square for the next move. You can also download the three sample data sets: sample1.txt, sample2.txt, sample3.txt, and the two test data sets: test1.txt, test2.txt.

The 2011 contest problem involved performing both a transposition cipher and a substitution cipher to encrypt and decrypt messages. You can also download the three sample data sets: sample1.txt, sample2.txt, sample3.txt, and the three test data sets: test1.txt, test2.txt, test3.txt, and the opening presentation.

The 2010 contest problem required computing the amount of damage in a simulated battle. You can also download the sample data set and the two sets of test data. This problem also had an introductory presentation.

The 2009 contest problem was based on the work done by computer displays when one window appears to be behind another. You can also download the first sample data set, the second sample data set, and the two sets of test data.

The 2008 contest problem looked at variations on Sudoku grid puzzles. You can also download the first sample data set, the second sample data set, and the test data. (This problem was introduced to the students with an opening presentation, which you can look at too.)

The 2007 contest problem was based on the computations involved in typesetting and word wrapping. You can also download the first sample data set, the second sample data set, the third sample data set, and the first and second sets of test data. (This problem was introduced to the students with an opening presentation, which you can look at too.)

The 2006 contest problem required computing the heuristic value of a slide puzzle configuration, and the value of all configurations which could result from moving a single tile. You can also download the first sample data set, the second sample data set, the third sample data set, and the test data.

The 2005 contest problem involved simulating decision rules for implementing statistical process control. You can also download the first sample data set, the second sample data set, and the test data.

The 2004 contest problem dealt with error correction and Hamming distances. You can also download the sample data and test data.

The 2003 contest problem involved decoding UPC-A bar codes. You can also download the sample data and test data.

The 2002 contest problem required verifying that input data were topologically sorted. You can also download the first sample data, second sample data, first test data, and second test data.

The 2001 contest problem was about dates and the changeover from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. You can also download the sample data and test data.

The 2000 contest problem dealt with pushbutton door locks. (This program takes no input.)

The 1999 contest featured both an individual problem and a team problem. The 1999 individual problem challenged contestants to analyze an array of integers to identify the sub-array with the maximum sum. Programs to solve the 1999 team problem had to work out a path through a maze.

The 1998 contest problem required writing a program to do long multiplication.

The 1997 BASIC problem required programs to find the area of a piece of material after a single cut had been made.

The 1994 contest problem asked competitors to write a program to fill chicken nugget orders at the minimum possible cost.

In 1992, we had two different problems. The BASIC problem was to develop a two-player game of chance. The Pascal problem was to write an implementation of the Soundex algorithm.

Our 1991 contest problem concerned wildcards in string matching.

The 1989 contest problem required finding overlapping times to schedule meetings for two busy executives.

Other problems are still being tracked down, and we hope to have them here eventually.

## Other Problems

For 2003, the Gloucester County HSPC was hosted over the Internet here at Rowan University. People interested in practice might want to see the 2003 county contest problem, and read over the judges' comments about the submitted programs.