How can I join the Contest?

The Contest will be held entirely online on Stepik (free registration required). Please follow the link to sign up and get acquainted with sample problems.

We will send you a reminder closer to the Qualification Round start day via Stepik. Please make sure to set notifications on Stepik on in order not to miss the Contest announcements.
What skills are required from the participants?

Participants should know how to code in one of the programming languages, especially how to read and write from standard input/output streams and files. The knowledge of algorithms and data structures, machine learning and some basics of molecular biology will be helpful.
What is qualification round?

The Qualification Round is the first stage of the Contest and is required to go further. It lasts 7 days. This round is more educational than competitive: it will help you get familiar with Stepik and provided testing system. Participants will also be able to assess the level of required skills.

The Qualification Round is open for all.
When qualification and final rounds will be available?

The Qualification Round will last one week starting from February 3 (11:59 a.m. UTC). You can solve problems any time during this week. It will be closed on February 11 (11:59 a.m. UTC).

The Final Round will last 24 hours. You will have access to it if you successfully finished Qualifications Round and got at least 602 points. It will be open on February 24 (11:59 a.m. UTC). The exact time is to be confirmed.
If I miss the dates of the competition can I still see and solve problems?

Yes, you will be able and solve problems both from qualification and final rounds. You will not get points for them.
What should I do to qualify to final round?

You need to get at least 602 points in the Qualification Round to advance to the finals.
How the final round will be organized?

Everybody, who will get 602 or more points in the Qualification Round, will automatically advance to the Final Round. The day before the final round they will receive notification that it is going to start soon. Like in qualification, you will be given several problems to solve. Please don't forget to read the rules carefully!

You will be able to solve problems in 24 hours. The winner will be the one who gets the highest points in the final round. Please note, that qualification round score will not contribute towards the final result.

You will be able follow the competition scoreboard in real time. Winners will be announced during the week after the Contest.
Will there be prizes?

Yes, top five participants will get prizes! Top 6-20 will get honorary Contest T-shirts.

After the winners are announced, we will contact each of them and discuss how to collect their prize.

What type of problems I should expect?

There will be two types of problems: with exact and approximate answers.

For problems with approximate answers the test inputs will be downloadable files. Your task will be to find good solutions for these tests and upload them to the testing system. Here, almost anything can be used to solve the problems, including existing bioinformatics tools, libraries and frameworks, but excluding help of others.

In the case of interactive problem the interaction protocol through the text files will be specified in the problem statement.
Are there any examples of the problems that can be found in the contest?

Yes, you can check out several examples at Stepik from the Bioinformatics Contest 2017.
How the problems will be graded?

Each problem has its own number of points that you could get for solving it. In the problems with exact answers you will get points only if your answer satisfies all the requirements of the problem and passes all the tests.

In the problems with approximate answers you will get the points calculated by a formula given in the statement of the problem. In this case, for each test the best submission attempt is used for the final score.
How solutions will be submitted?

You will be given a test that you download and then you should upload your output for that test in a plain text format. In order to solve such problem you could use everything you want except for the help of other people. The output file should not exceed 5 MB.

In the case of interactive problem the interaction protocol through the text files will be specified in the problem statement.
What could be the additional limits for the problems?

Some problems will have constraints on the total number of submissions. Moreover, in all the problems you can not submit your solution very often: in general 10 seconds should pass between two consecutive submissions. These constraints are described in each problem.
What programming languages can I use to solve the problem?

Any programming language can be used. This year there are no problems where you should submit a solution code. For each problem you will be given a test input and you should provide only the output.
How the scoreboard is calculated?

Your points at the end of the round are calculated as a sum of your points for each problem in the round. The Qualification and Final rounds are scored independently. The prizes will be awarded based only on the results of the Final round.
Where can I read more about previous contests?

Results and problems of the previous contest are published online on bioinf.me/online/contest2017.
How can I contact the organizers?

You can reach us at contest@bioinf.me.