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<title>MechMania - ACM Reflections | Projections 2012</title>
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<div id="page-description" class="container-fluid">
<div class="row" id="header">
<div id="top-section">
<div class="span12">
<h1 class="page-heading">MechMania</h1>
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</div>
<div id="main" class="container">
<div class="row mechmania-row">
<div class="mechmania-info span12">
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<h2>What is it?</h2>
<p>
MechMania is a 24-hour programming contest in which teams of
students from various schools compete to create an AI capable of
playing (and winning) a strategy game we have developed for the
event.
</p>
<p>Registration for MechMania 2012 has closed.</p>
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<div class="mechmania-info span12">
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<h2>Who's eligible?</h2>
<p>
We accept teams of up to three people in two brackets: the
student competition and the corporate competition.
</p>
<h3>Student Competition</h3>
<p>
Our student competition accepts up to twenty teams and pits them
against each other in one final battle. Teams do not need to be
comprised of all students from the same school, but all
participants must be actively enrolled in a college or
university.
</p>
<h3>Corporate Competition</h3>
<p>
The corporate competition is open to teams representing
companies. Be sure to contact us if your company is interested
in participating in this year's competition. There are no
prizes (other than the joy of winning) for corporate
competitors.
</p>
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<h2>What you need to know</h2>
<p>
At least one, and preferably all, members of each team will need
general familiarity with a Linux shell (bash, zsh, and csh are
all provided on our workstations). All members should be
proficient in the programming language their team intends to
use. The API will use JSON messages passed over HTTP, so we recommend having
knowledge of a JSON library in your chosen language.
</p>
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<div class="mechmania-info span6">
<div id="dont" class="hero-unit">
<h2>What you don't need to know</h2>
<p>
No prior knowledge of any specific languages are
required<sup>1</sup>. You won't need a background in artificial
intelligence&mdash;in previous years, many teams without an AI
background have competed and done well, or even won. You also
shouldn't need knowledge of network programming beyond HTTP
requests.
</p>
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<div class="row mechmania-row">
<div class="mechmania-info span6">
<div id="bring" class="hero-unit">
<h2>What you can bring</h2>
<p>
You can bring any reference manual(s) you wish, whether it be the
<em>Art of Computer Programming</em> or the <em>Art of War.</em>
But absolutely no outside code. You may, however, bring non-code
items like rc files, build scripts, notes, etc. Competitors are
allowed to bring their own laptops, though the code you write
must be capable of running on our systems.
</p>
</div>
</div>
<div id="give" class="mechmania-info span6">
<div class="hero-unit">
<h2>What we'll give you</h2>
<p>
Teams will be provided two PCs running Scientific Linux 6.
Your code should be platform-independent to ensure compatibility with the competition environment.
We will provide a standard Unix environment, as described above.
You will have access to the internet throughout the competition
and are free to find reference materials, documentation and
third party libraries<sup>2</sup>.
</p>
</div>
</div>
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<div class="row mechmania-row">
<div class="mechmania-info span6">
<div id="do" class="hero-unit">
<h2>What you'll do</h2>
<p>
By either starting from scratch or using our provided sample
clients, you will build an artificial intelligence client to play a strategy game
of our design. Our API will provide you
information about the current state of the game, as well as
allow you to send commands to play it. You may find previous
competition sites useful to get an idea of how MechMania operates.
</p>
</div>
</div>
<div id="when" class="mechmania-info span6">
<div class="hero-unit">
<h2>When it'll happen</h2>
<p>
This year we have changed the start time for the competition
based on feedback from previous years' participants. The
competition will begin with the opening ceremony and announcement of the game on Friday,
October 5, after which the programming component will
commence immediately. The competition will end Saturday evening
after running for 24 hours. We will present the closing ceremony and awards Sunday afternoon.
</p>
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<div id="footnotes" class="hero-unit">
<h3>Footnotes</h3>
<p class="small-font">
1 You may only use languages and language features that compile
and run on our test machine. Note that this means you should
avoid Linux-specific C/C++. Pure Unix-targeted code should
suffice.
</p>
<p class="small-font">
2 Please note that when we say "third-party libraries," we mean
third-party--not ones written by you, your team, or your
friends. We will try to make sure that PIP is set up for Python
users.
</p>
</div>
</div>
<div id="palantir" class="mechmania-info span6">
<div class="hero-unit">
<div id="sponsored" class="span2">
<h3>Generously Sponsored By</h3>
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