Short interviews before CEOI 2020 – László Nikházy, Technical Committee – CMS

How did you start getting involved with programming competitions?

I took part in Hungarian national competitions as soon as I learned programming in Pascal at the age of 11, my best result was a national 2nd place. After university, I started my career as a developer at Google, but I kept in touch with the organizers of Hungarian contests, taking part in reviewing the tasks. Two years ago, I started doing a PhD in computer science talent education, and since then, I am a member of the scientific committee of national programming contests.

Could you give a little insight into your role as part of the Technical Committee of the CEOI 2020?

I am the leader of the team responsible for setting up and running CMS (Contest Management System), which is an open-source software used for evaluating the solutions of contestants at many international competitions, e.g., the IOI. We work closely with the Scientific Committee developing the tasks and with the Team Leaders translating the tasks. We are also maintaining the contest servers in the cloud, managing user accounts for the contestants, and cooperating with other members of the technical committee in setting up workstations for the contest. This year is special because we had to prepare for a hybrid onsite and online contest, we will be in contact with the countries participating remotely throughout the entire competition.

What services will the CMS provide to the participants and people interested in the results of this event?

The contestants can download task descriptions and submit their solutions in CMS. They will get immediate full feedback, showing their score for each task. They can also ask clarifying questions about the tasks in the system. However, they can’t see the live standings of the competition, which will be available with a lot of extra information for the rest of the world at . Everyone can cheer for their countries’ contestants 😊. For people interested in the tasks of the competition we prepared online mirror contests hosted on Codeforces one day after the onsite competition rounds.

Can you give us more information about the online mirror contests?

In the hard times of the current pandemic, it is our goal to help every country in the world to prepare for the online IOI, and participating in an IOI-style competition is one of the best ways. With the excellent platform of Codeforces and the help of CEO Mike Mirzayanov, we can provide an opportunity for everyone to compete online in a contest with the CEOI tasks. The two rounds will be held on August 26 and 28, they will start at 12:05 UTC and last for 5 hours. Anyone can enter with a Codeforces user account.

Would you like to share some final few words with the young contestants?

I hope the tasks will be challenging, and the competition system will work smoothly. Make sure to keep an eye on the Communication page. Enjoy the experience 😊