Programming contest [Rev Physics masters]

David Kwinter david at
Sat May 1 14:39:01 CDT 2004

I only skimmed last year's problem, but when I saw the friction and air 
resistance constant I thought they could really go overboard if they 
wanted, but you're right it appears not. They define their time step 
variable adjustments very clearly.

So less talk and more action. I'm going to make a simulator for the car.

On Saturday, May 1, 2004, at 09:22 AM, James Spencer wrote:

> On May 1, 2004, at 1:09 AM, Dar Scott wrote:
>> On Friday, April 30, 2004, at 10:23 PM, David Kwinter wrote:
>>> So who's our physics master? I have experience backtesting & 
>>> optimizing systems once I've programmed them - but defining the 
>>> environment following their specs looks extremely challenging.
>> I'm not sure how much this is a physics problem.  The simulator is 
>> spec'd out exactly and that takes care in doing the low level coding. 
>>  Some physics might be handy in getting close to a solution.  
>> However, this looks like a search problem to me.  Well, at first 
>> glance.
>> It is a nice problem in that it can be broken up into pieces and the 
>> pieces might be done in alternate ways.
> You are right: last year's problem was a pure computer programming 
> problem.  There was no physics involved at all as the contest 
> organizers defined the physics of the problem completely and the math 
> that was to be used to solve the physics.  I think you can expect the 
> same this year.  The few past problems I've looked at did not require 
> any knowledge of anything other than how to program.  The consistent 
> theme seems to be that algorithm is paramount with processing time 
> being secondary but not insignificant.  (When you have only 72 hours 
> to write your program and submit your results, a brute force solution 
> isn't likely to be successful as you won't find an optimum solution in 
> that time, certainly without a supercomputer.)
> Spence
> James P. Spencer
> Rochester, MN
> jspencer78 at
> "Badges??  We don't need no stinkin badges!"
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