HackerEarth conducted an annual Collegiate Cup for all programming enthusiasts across the globe, looking for the best programmers.

The contest had five rounds, where teams of three from any part of the world could participate for the coveted title and prize.

**Round 1: Let the game begin**

Held on September 3, 2016, the first round of the contest was an online qualifier round of 24 hours with three sets of problems.The contest was preparatory for ICPC aspirants. International Collegiate Programming contest is one of the world’s biggest competitive contest held globally. All the rules and themes of this contest were very similar to prepare contestants for ICPC. Every team which solved at least one of the three problem sets moved forward to the next round. Of the 1885 teams that participated, 755 made it to the next round.

**Round 2: The first elimination round**

On September 18, 2016, the first elimination round began. In this three-hour online contest, only the top 3 teams from every college could make it to the next round. Dealing with 5 problems, all 755 teams competed furiously, with only marginal differences in the points for the second qualifiers.

**Round 3: Wild card entry round**

The challenge saw a pool of highly skilled programmers battle it out. A wild-card entry round was organized on October 2, 2016, which allowed five teams to qualify for the second elimination round. As the competition *progressed*, 318 teams battled for the top five positions in a three-hour contest, *tackling* extremely hard problems.

**Round 4: Second elimination round**

Out of 2000 teams, 214 teams made it to the second elimination round; the teams were neck and neck. A five-hour contest with 10 problems would get the contestant to the onsite round, with all expenses paid, at HackerEarth arena in Bangalore. But only 20 teams (15 Indian, 5 Global) would get the chance. With 80% of the teams competing till the last minute, only few could successfully accomplish the feat . Top 15 teams from different corners of the country were invited for a final onsite round at Bengaluru.

**The Final Round **

The final round of the HCC was held at HackerEarth, Bengaluru on November 5, 2016.

It comprised two rounds:

- The onsite round with 15 Indian teams participating
- The Mirror round for the 5 international teams

Each team had 12 problems to solve in the 5-hour contest.

**Here is a sample problem from the Onsite round. Why don’t you give it a shot?.**

Given 2?N pebbles of N different colors, where there are exactly 2 pebbles of each color. You need to arrange these pebbles in some order on a table. You may consider the table as an infinite 2D plane.The pebbles need to be placed under some restrictions: You can place a pebble of color X, at a coordinate (X,Y) such that Y is not equal to X, and there exist 2 pebbles of color Y. In short, consider you place a pebble of color ii at coordinate (X,Y). Here, it is necessary that (i=X),(i!=Y) there exist some other pebbles of color equal to Y. Now, you need to enclose this arrangement within a boundary , made by a ribbon. Considering that each unit of the ribbon costs M, you need to find the minimum cost in order to make a boundary which encloses any possible arrangement of the pebbles. The ribbon is sold only in units (not in further fractions).

*You can find the solution Here*

**Here is another one.**

Given an array A of length N, find the number of on- empty sub-arrays such that the sum of all the elements in the sub-array is a palindrome. In other words, you have to find a number of pairs (i,j) such that ?jx=iAx is a palindrome, where (1?i?j?N).

*Try the solution at palindromic sum editorial. *

**The top 3 teams in the Onsite round :**

*Team FacelessMen*– Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur – alecsyde, TerryMcGinnis, Sahilgrover*Team FruitSalad*– Dhirubai Ambani Institute for Information and Communication Technology– yashkumar18, kuldeeppatel, Sumeet.Varma*Team mobius_treap*– International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad – vmrajas, tanujkhattar, itsalways42

**Top 3 teams in the Mirror Round :**

*Team Jinotega*– Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology – Arterm, zemen, ifsmirnov*Team VietAnplusplus*– Ho Chi Minh City University of Science –tanphatls987 , phvietan, TGod2401]*Team Frogless*– Kiev National Taras Shevchenko University – mgch, ballon, Fdg

- 5665 programmers
- 1885 teams
- 200 universities
- 10 countries
- 5 grueling rounds
- 1 coveted title

Although the competition was intense, the participants found the HackerEarth platform an excellent tool for learning and practice.

*Testimonial by Arun Yadav – *

“Greeaaat !! Problem set was awesome , would love to up solve them with

editorials .. HackerEarth has a really nice workplace 🙂 . Everything

was well managed , we didn’t face any glitches . T-shirts were awesome

!!! keep it every year XD”

Find it interesting? Try out similar programming challenges at HackerEarth Challenges.