August 23, 2005: Well, this has gotten depressing lately. If I don't improve soon, I may need to drop this from my web site! But I have hopes of climbing back into Division I before too much longer. (And if I do, maybe I should quit before I have a chance to plummet again!) As you can see, my TopCoder handle is "hylas," after the simple-minded materialist in Berkeley's Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous.
March 30, 2006: Still grim. After two years of being (mostly) blue, and feeling as though I could even semi-realistically dream of yellow, I've now spent around eight months stuck being green. As Kermit says, it's not easy being green. Last night it took me 50 minutes to write a four-line program for the medium problem. (The same problem was the Division I easy problem, and it took SnapDragon all of two minutes to code it.) I spent most of that time trying to understand the physics of the problem and write a formula that expressed it. If I had simply guessed at the most obvious formula that practically jumped out from the examples, it would have been correct. And there were enough examples to check it against that I could have been reasonably sure it was correct.
Last update: March 30, 2006
Curtis Brown | Philosophy Department | Trinity University