A notice was put up on the bulletin board of our department a few weeks back…
To elaborate, Loop was a quiz arranged by our seniors – the students of second and third year of the Computer Science department of Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, Narendrapur.
Students from the whole department would contest for five hours, through a series of stages that would contain questions based on algorithm complexity calculation, debugging, general knowledge (in computer science), and mathematical problems.
We submitted the names to our quiz masters, the day before – Attyuttam Saha, Pratik Roy, Snehashish da, and Arka Ghosh – 2nd and 3rd year students. The following day, we were to reach college by 11 AM.
At 11:00 AM, we reached the conference hall on the second floor of our college. Our quiz masters were making everything ready. At 11:15 AM, each team was handed out a booklet containing 25 multiple choice questions. These questions were mainly focused on algorithmic complexity and mathematics.
After 25 minutes, the booklets were analyzed, and six teams were chosen. The six teams were assigned letters – A, B, C, D, E and F, and asked to sit in the first two rows of the conference room. The first round of the quiz commenced at 12:00 PM.
A few rules were common for each round. The audience (the quizzers who were not selected in the selection round) could participate and they would receive a small token for correct answers. After each round, one team would be ‘knocked out’.
The quiz masters would be displaying the questions on a white screen with the help of a projector connected to a laptop.
The rules of the first round were simple enough.
A team gets asked a question. If they answer correctly, they get 30 points, otherwise the question passes on to the other teams, sequentially. The audience could answer if all the teams failed to answer.
The second round required careful planning. Each team could choose to (or, not to) bet 5 – 15 points for a certain question (before it was presented to the quizzers). Suppose team A is about to receive their direct question. The other teams may place bets. If team A gives the right answer, they’ll obtain 20 points, otherwise, no points will be deducted. Among the other teams, those who have placed bets, will have to answer. If they answer correctly, they’ll obtain points equal to double their bet amount. Otherwise, they lose points equal to the amount of bet they had placed.
There were two consecutive rounds that had the option of betting. They lasted for almost two hours!
The questions were primarily based on pattern detection (and guessing the next element in the pattern), complexity calculation, encrypting and decrypting messages. The questions were very interesting, and, they weren’t so easy either. In fact, the answer to a certain question (about family relations) was debated on for almost 15 – 20 minutes (due to ambiguous answers)!
Everyone was famished after three and a half hours of Loop. Chicken rolls were served to all those present inside the hall. I won’t lie. We had a good time eating those 😀 Later, tea was available.
Half an hour later, the debugging round initiated. The three teams were given two programs, and they would have to detect all sorts of errors – logical and syntactical. One of the quiz-masters, Pratik Roy, projected the codes on the big screen as well, for the audience to solve.
This was the round which decided which teams would compete for the first and second positions. Surprisingly, the two teams which went forward in the quiz comprised of students from the first year only.
The final round was the buzzer round. Due to the lack of a proper buzzing system, the competitors were asked to stand up if they had the correct answer. The team member standing up first would represent his team and answer. There were no negative scores. The answering team would be awarded 30 points. If that team failed, the question would pass on to the other team, and finally to the audience.
Tough questions on algorithm complexity were displayed on the big screen.
Only one team was able to answer one question, however, the other team was much ahead of them, in terms of points, owing to their performance in the previous rounds.
They were almost 20 points ahead! They – Ayan and Rijul – were the winners of Loop!
This was the first time the department of computer science organized a quiz, and it was possible only through the efforts of our seniors, who used whatever resources they had in hand, and created a well planned, innovative, and a very interesting quiz session that didn’t get tiresome even though it lasted for five hours!
Each of the quiz masters handled the whole event very efficiently, and Attyuttam Saha, especially, presented and coordinated each round of Loop very smoothly.
We later came to know that the four of them had solved the questions themselves before presenting them to us.
Apart from the quality of the questions, and the whole session (in general), there was also another distinctive feature. During each question, the person providing the answer would have to provide the logic as well. There was no scope of making a lucky guess and scoring points.
2015’s Loop was a ‘demo’ run. Next year it will be bigger – Loop will be an inter-college quiz session based on computer science, with Ramakrishna Mission Residential College hosting the event.