The Hacker Cup goes much the same way as other sport-coding contests: five puzzles to finish in any order over three hours. Keep the programming as efficient as possible. The cleanest, most accurate code in the fastest time takes first place. A common type of problem might ask for the shortest route between San Francisco and Los Angeles given a number of constraints. Or perhaps the problem is about how to tile a floor in a specific pattern. The questions typically revolve around a well-known algorithm or mathematical structure with a fresh twist. Elite sport coders must figure out the underlying logic quickly and then trust their abilities.