University of Scranton Annual High School Computer Programming Contest

Notice: The 2020 contest has been cancelled in an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


The Department of Computing Sciences at the University of Scranton has held a computer programming contest for high school students each spring (with one exception) since 1990. Historically, most participants have been students attending high schools in Northeastern Pennsylvania. However, on several occasions competitors have come from schools more than one hundred miles away. Each school is represented by up to three teams, each team having up to three students.

The competition lasts four hours, during which each team tries to solve several computer programming problems using any of a number of programming languages (e.g., Java, C/C++, Python). The teams are ranked according to the number of problems they solved correctly. Ties are broken according to how much time was used in solviing the problems, including penalty minutes that are assessed for each incorrect "solution" submitted.

Following the contest, an awards banquet is held, with the three highest-ranked teams receiving plaques. Members of the winning team become eligible to receive a $500 scholarship to attend the University.

The 2020 contest was scheduled to be held on April 3, but it has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus. For more details about the contest, click here. For more information, contact Dr. Bob McCloskey, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Computing Sciences.

Past Contest Problems:

Below are links to descriptions of the problem sets of past contests, by year. The problems described here are, in essence, the same as those assigned at the contests. However, many of the older problems have been rewritten in order to achieve greater uniformity in style. We also sought to clarify the problem statements wherever we perceived that ambiguities might exist.

1990 (html) 1991 (html) 1992 (html) 1993 (html) 1994 (html)
1995 (html) 1996 (html) 1997 (html) 1998 (pdf) (html) 1999 (pdf) (html)
2000 (pdf) (html) 2002 (pdf) (html) 2003 (pdf) (html) 2004 (pdf) 2005 (pdf)
2006 (pdf) 2007 (pdf) 2008 (pdf) 2009 (pdf) 2010 (pdf)
2011 (pdf) 2012 (pdf) 2013 (pdf) 2014 (pdf) test data 2015 (pdf) test data
2016 (pdf) test data 2017 (pdf) test data 2018 2019