2018 High School Programming Contest

May 19, 2018 10:30am - 4:00pm @ Cal Poly Pomona

Compete against your peers and other high school and middle school students who share your interest and passion in programming

NOTE: As of 2018, middle school students (grades 6-8) may participate in the contest for Pre-High School categories.


The Second High School Programming Contest (HSPC) hosted by Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) brings talented students from high schools and middle schools to the CPP campus to participate in an organized competition. Students compete individually or with a teammate to demonstrate their programming skills and problem solving abilities by attempting to solve six programming problems within a three hour period.


Get hands on experience working on real coding questions in a fun and fast paced environment


Win cool prizes from the industry sponsors and the envy of your peers


Of course food will be provided and who doesn't love pizza?


All California high school students and advanced junior high students are eligible. Middle school students will compete in the Pre-High School Category.
Early registration fee is $20 until May 1st. After May 1st, the registration fee is $30.

The registration for HSPC 2018 has been closed.


The event will start at 10:30 AM on May 19 at the Computer Science Department at Cal Poly Pomona Campus

Start End Activity Location
10:30 am 11:30 am Check-In Building 8
11:00 am 11:30 am Lunch Building 8
11:30 am 11:45 am Welcome and Orientation for HSPC TBA
12:00 pm 3:00 pm HSPC Contest TBA
3:15 pm 4:00 pm Award Presentation TBA
Parking: The closest parking lot is at here.


This year’s awards are provided by our sponsors:

Middle school students will compete in the Pre-High School category.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is eligible to compete?

The competition is open to all California middle school and high school students (public, private, or home schools). Participants may be any student currently enrolled in grades 6-12. Advanced junior high and graduating seniors are also welcome to participate.

Will there be teams?

Yes, you can either compete individually or choose to form a team of 2 members. Teams will compete in the team category. Each team member needs to register individually.

How long is the competition?

The contest will consist of 6 problems to be solved over a 3 hour period. The set of problems will span various levels of difficulty.

What languages can we code in?

Solutions to the problems must be coded in Java, Python or C++. No other languages are allowed.

Can you bring books?

You are allowed to bring a total of two books to the contest. These must be “traditional” books – you may not compose your own book or set of notes.

Can you bring standalone software?

You are NOT allowed to bring any software or disks/usb into the lab. If you need a piece of paper, you may ask the lab proctor for blank paper. Any question should be submitted to the judges in writing.

What if I have a question during the competition?

Each clarification question will be considered and acknowledged, but the judges reserve the right to not answer any question that may reveal the answer. The question and its answer may be provided to all contestants if it seems relevant.

Does performance matter?

Yes. Performance is a criterion for judging if a solution is correct. Your program must execute and deliver a correct answer within one minute in order to be considered correct. For some of the problems there may exist a solution that might work, but is so inefficient that it will take longer than a minute to finish.

How will we submit our solutions?

We will be using HackerRank as the problem submission system. You can take a quick tutorial on how to use HackerRank.

Can we use outside/third-party libraries?

Yes, but there will not be any third party libraries provided for you. Only standard libraries will be provided, but you may type in any support libraries on your own and submit them as part of your solution.

Where can I find some sample questions?

You can view the contest questions in the previous contest here

Participants can get familiar with the questions and the HackerRank environment here

Scoring and Judging Criteria

  1. Ranking will be based on overall score, where the score is determined primarily by the number of problems solved correctly.
  2. Time will be used as a secondary scoring method in order to break potential ties. In the case where multiple contestants have solved the same number of problems, the tie breaker will be the total time taken to solve the correct problems (i.e., the contestant solving the problems in the least amount of time will have the higher ranking).

Computer Lab Rules

  1. NO Food or Drinks allowed in the labs. There will not be an official break, but you may briefly leave the contest area to go to the restroom or to get a drink.
  2. NO Personal Laptops. Each student will be assigned a computer in one of the CPP labs. You may use only the assigned machine to solve the problems.
  3. NO Internet use. The Internet will be turned off in the labs. You may not search the web or use the Internet in any other way in order to obtain hints or tips.
  4. NO use of cellphones/electronic devices. While in the lab, all electronic devices must be turned off. Electronic devices are not allowed to be used during the competition. In general, any disturbance that causes other contestants to lose their concentration will be handled by the lab proctors.
  5. NO outside contact during the competition. You may not use a wireless device to contact or talk to anyone during the contest period.
  6. The CPP labs are equipped with the following computers and software:
  7. - Eclipse for Java and C++
    - Netbeans for Java and C++
    - Thonny for Python 2 and 3

Previous Contests

HSPC 2017 (May 20, 2017)

View Problems

Top Coder Award

Place Contestant(s) School Score
1st Harry Jaeyoung Cha Palos Verdes High School 8 Questions | 88 Minutes
2nd Sabrina Tseng Diamond Bar High School 8 Questions | 128 Minutes
3rd Regina Wang Troy High School 8 Questions | 148 Minutes
4th Saralynn Chick Westlake High School 7 Questions | 101 Minutes
5th Grant Leech Glendora High School 7 Questions | 111 Minutes

Best Team Collaboration

1st Jefferson Lee
Aleksander Nelson
Woodbridge High School 8 Questions | 103 Minutes
2nd Peter Thompson
William He
Diamond Bar High School 8 Questions | 126 Minutes
3rd Anh Ngo
Alvin Nguyen
La Quinta High School 8 Questions | 147 Minutes
4th Hoang Luu
Tri Truong
La Quinta High School 7 Questions | 66 Minutes
5th Tynesha Pham
Angela Gadon
Woodbridge High School 7 Questions | 85 Minutes
6th Sharleen Loh
Angela Wang
Troy High School 7 Questions | 160 Minutes

Grace Hopper Award

1st Sabrina Tseng Diamond Bar High School 8 Questions | 128 Minutes
2nd Regina Wang Troy High School 8 Questions | 148 Minutes
3rd Saralynn Chick Westlake High School 7 Questions | 101 Minutes
4th Felianne Teng Troy High School 6 Questions | 133 Minutes
5th Kelly Chou Ruben S. Ayala High School 6 Questions | 160 Minutes

Welcome to Our Campus

This event is hosted and organized by Computer Science Department in the College of Science at Cal Poly Pomona

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