ICPC Regionals — The Chennai flood and the Asia Director

Revision en8, by Balajiganapathi, 2015-12-23 22:24:58


One of the regionals in India was scheduled to be held at Hindustan University at Chennai on December 17 — 18, 2015. Unfortunately Chennai was stuck by a natural disaster. The entire south India received heavy rainfall and hence there was a lot of flooding at many places including Chennai around that time. Atleast 347 people died in the state of Tamil Nadu (where Chennai is located). The damage due to the floods overall in south India is estimated to be atleast USD 3 Billion. It is the costliest flood in 2015.

Ofcourse, due to this the Chennai regionals was postponed. I think everyone here will agree that this was an unexpected, unprecedent situation and hence it was entirely understandable that the regionals was postponed.

The Blog post

Dr. C J Hwang is the ICPC Asia director. In response to the above postponement he posted a blog article on his blog. You can read it here. Please read it as this post deals with that announcement.

Quote from the blog: "In the 20 years of ACM-ICPC Asia history, we never had the case of contest postponement."

Comment: That is just luck. It is great luck that there never was any problem during any of the Asia regionals during the past 20 years.

Quote from the blog: "Several years ago, Vietnam contest had a flood and I was there. I walked over the deep water.I was wet with pants and shoes. Vietnam committee did not request any postponement."

Comment: Wet pants and shoes, seriously? This seems like a minor water logging not a major, destructive flood.

Quote from the blog: "To avoid any future abuse of asking postponement to cover the un-readiness and the irresponsibility of hosting the contest ..."

Comment: Abuse? What exactly does Dr. Hwang want the organizers to do? How can you conduct a coding contest when there is water 2 storey high? How is this un readiness or irresponsibility? The flights/train/bus service were all stopped so how would the contestants reach the venue? What if something happened to them? There were no proper supply of food/water/electricity during the floods. As someone who has experienced a real flood, I am extremely offended by this statement.

Quote from the blog: "..., I am proposing to insert a few new lines into 2015 Asia rules. These new lines are same as I had approved for Asia Chennai. We have no time for negotiation/discussion and the complexity of calculating Asia site scores prevent us from any other solutions."

Comment: Why no time for negotiation or discussion? Calculating the slots is indeed complicated, but it does not take that much time either. This reason is here just so he can rush the decision before any discussion takes place. This should not be how decisions are taken at ICPC.

You can read the actual rule in the blog itself. Rules are generally passed by a vote. Here is the result of the voting for this rule:

Quote from the blog: "Voting Result: Casting Yes vote – 11 (Including 3 from WC sub-region)

Casting No vote – 1 (Including 1 from WC sub-region)

Implicit Yes vote – 40"

Comment: See that last line? The Implicit Yes vote? It means those who did not vote were automatically considered as "Yes". Yeah, that is how decisions are taken for such an important rule.

Concluding Remark

I have nothing against the rule. But everything against the manner in which it was decided. Also, the remarks about the flood situation reeks of arrogance and a total lack of empathy for the disastrous situation at Chennai. It is really sad that decisions are taken like this at such a prestigious contest like ICPC.

Tags acm icpc 2015, acm icpc, acm icpc regionals


  Rev. Lang. By When Δ Comment
en8 English Balajiganapathi 2015-12-23 22:24:58 8
en7 English Balajiganapathi 2015-12-23 22:01:19 0 (published)
en6 English Balajiganapathi 2015-12-23 21:58:06 89
en5 English Balajiganapathi 2015-12-23 21:46:31 136
en4 English Balajiganapathi 2015-12-23 21:38:04 37
en3 English Balajiganapathi 2015-12-23 21:35:36 1668
en2 English Balajiganapathi 2015-12-23 19:34:18 1222
en1 English Balajiganapathi 2015-12-23 19:19:37 872 Initial revision (saved to drafts)