Wednesday, 21 February, 2001

Programming Contest! is running a programming contest.  They've written a lunar lander program that simulates launching a craft to a specified altitude, hovering there for a period of time, and then landing safely (i.e. not too hard).  Except there's a catch.  The supplied program needs a function that tells it how much fuel to burn at each time slice.  That's the contest part.  Contestants write a C function called setBurnRate that returns the burn rate.  Submissions are judged on completion (they must reach the altitude, hover, and land safely), and are awarded points based on the amount of fuel left after landing, and how softly the ship lands.  Prizes will be awarded for first through fifth places.  Full contest details are available here.  I'm looking forward to seeing how other programmers solve this problem.