Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ICFP programming contest 2009!

Not too long ago, Lindsey Kuper and I stepped into the ring once again to compete in the ICFP Programming Contest!

She's writing up the full story over on Geek Buffet.

The quick recap, however! The problem had to deal with orbital mechanics -- we were to control a simulated satellite as it orbits a simulated earth. First, you just had to transfer orbits, then meet other satellites, and it got increasingly complex from there.

Thankfully, the physics simulator for each kind of problem was included. All you had to do to use it was implement the contest-specific VM! (Easy, right?) Thankfully, the specification for the VM was super-clear, and we got it working surprisingly quickly.

By the end of the contest, we could handle the first two problem types, and that was competitive enough for 120th place worldwide, by the morning when they turned off the leaderboard. Good show, us!

For the full scoop, go read Lindsey's account.

Here's the code! We used Scheme and Python, and R for the visualizations.

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