Announcing Facebook’s 2012 Hacker Cup

By David Alves on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 11:00am

Hacking is core to how we build at Facebook. Whether we’re building a prototype for a major product like Timeline at a Hackathon, creating a smarter search algorithm, or tearing down walls at our new headquarters, we’re always hacking to find better ways to solve problems.

 

Today we’re announcing open registration for Facebook’s second annual Hacker Cup. Programmers from around the world will be judged on accuracy and speed as they race to solve algorithmic problems to advance through up to five rounds of programming challenges. This is your chance to compete against the world’s best programmers for awesome prizes and the title of World Champion.

 

What: An annual algorithmic programming contest open to engineers from around the world.

Where: Three online rounds with the finals at Facebook's headquarters in California.

When: Registration opens January 4, 2012 with the three online rounds occurring throughout January 2012. World finals to follow.

Finals: We'll pay to fly and accommodate the top 25 hackers from the third online round out to our campus.

Prizes: Of course! $5,000 USD and title as world champion to the top hacker, $2,000 for second place, $1,000 for third, and $100 for fourth through 25th. Awesome t-shirts for the top 100 hackers coming out of the second online round.

 

Details

The competition commences with a 72-hour Qualification Round on January 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM PT and ends on January 23, 2012 at 4:00 PM PT. All registered competitors will be presented with three problems. Every competitor who correctly solves at least one problem will advance to Online Round 1.

 

Online Round 1 will last 24 hours from January 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM PT and ends on January 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM PT. To advance to Online Round 2, participants must solve at least one problem correctly. If more than 500 people solve at least one problem correctly, then the top 500 participants will advance, as well as everyone else who answered the same number of questions correctly as the 500th-place contestant.

 

Online Round 2 will last three hours from February 4, 2012 at 1:00 PM PT and end February 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM PT. The competitors will have three hours to solve the presented problem sets. The top-scoring 100 participants from Online Round 2 will receive an official Hacker Cup t-shirt. The top-scoring 100 competitors from Online Round 2 will be notified via email that they have advanced to Online Round 3.

 

Online Round 3 will last three hours from February 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM PT and end February 11, 2012 at 4:00 PM PT. The 100 competitors will have three hours to solve the presented problem sets. The top-scoring 25 competitors from Online Round 3 will be notified via email that they have advanced to the final round at Facebook.

 

Facebook will fly the top-scoring 25 competitors to Menlo Park, California, for the final round of competition on March 17, 2012, where they'll receive some great cash prizes and other awesome goodies. Out of these 25 finalists, one champion will emerge and be immortalized on the Hacker Cup trophy. Finalists will be responsible for obtaining their own entry visa before arrival in the USA; however, Facebook will reimburse the finalist for any visa application fee and up to $100 USD in travel expenses incurred in obtaining the visa. Facebook will not reimburse any fees or expenses related to obtaining a passport.

 

Want to get ahead of the competition? Try your hand at the problems from last year's qualification round here and keep an eye on the Hacker Cup Page for more details and announcements as the January 20th qualification round approaches.

 

Happy hacking!

 

David Alves, a mobile engineer at Facebook, is a fan of Bloom filters.