How can I join the contest?

Join the contest on Bioinformatics Contest 2017 (registration required).
If I missed the dates of the competition can I still see and solve problems?

Yes, you can register and solve problems both from qualification and final rounds. You will not get points for them.
What skills are required from the participants?

The participant 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?

Qualification round will last one week starting from January 23, 7:00 a.m. GMT. You can solve problems any time during this week. It will be closed on January 29, 11:00 p.m. GMT.

Final round will last 24 hours. You will have access to it if you successfully finished qualifications round. It will be open on February 18 (12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. GMT).
What should I do to qualify to final round?

You need to get 600 points in the qualification round.
How the final round will be organized?

All, who got 600+ points in the qualification round, will automatically advance to the finals. The day before the final round they will receive a link to join it (this time no registration required). 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 any time between 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. GMT on February 18, 2017. The winner will be the one who gets the most points in the final round. Please note, that qualification round score will not contribute towards the final result.

Winners will be announced during the week after the contest. First five places will get prizes!

You can follow the competition scoreboard in real time here.
What type of problems I should expect?

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

For problems with exact answers you need to submit a code in one of the supported programming languages that will be executed on a number of tests. These problems are focused on algorithms and data structures.

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.
Are there any examples of the problems that can be found in the contest?

Yes, you can check out several examples at Stepik (in the welcome lesson).
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?

There are two possibilities depending on the problem:

1) You should submit a code that solves the problem. Shortly, the testing system will run it on all the prepared tests and calculate the points you get. Your solution should not exceed time and memory limits specified for the problem. The limits are provided in the description of the problem. The size of the file with the source code should not exceed 64 KB.

2) You are 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.
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 code I can submit?

The code should be in one file and should be written in one of the provided languages (Python, Java, C++ and other popular ones, see full list). Your program should read from system input (stdin) and write to system output (stdout). To learn more, please visit Stepik Help Center.
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.
How can I contact the organizers?

You can reach us at contest@bioinf.me.