There are many distinct pleasures associated with computer programming. Craftsmanship has its quiet rewards, the satisfaction that comes from building a useful object and making it work. Excitement arrives with the flash of insight that cracks a previously intractable problem. The spiritual quest for elegance can turn the hacker into an artist. There are pleasures in parsimony, in squeezing the last drop of performance out of clever algorithms and tight coding. The games, puzzles, and challenges of problems from international programming competitions are a great way to experience these pleasures while improving your algorithmic and coding skills. This book contains over 100 problems that have appeared in previous programming contests, along with discussions of the theory and ideas necessary to attack them. Instant online grading for all of these problems is available from two WWW robot judging sites. Combining this book with a judge gives an exciting new way to challenge and improve your programming skills. This book can be used for self-study, for teaching innovative courses in algorithms and programming, and in training for international competition. The problems in this book have been selected from over 1,000 programming problems at the Universidad de Valladolid online judge. The judge has ruled on well over one million submissions from 27,000 registered users around the world to date. We have taken only the best of the best, the most fun, exciting, and interesting problems available.
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Springer-Verlag New York Inc.