OLYMPIADS IN INFORMATICS, 2007, Vol. 1, 105-111
© Institute of Mathematics and Informatics,

ISSN 1822-7732

USA Computing Olympiad (USACO)


a15235 Roller Coaster Road, Colorado Springs, CO, 80921 E-mail: kolstad@ace.delos.com

bUniversity of Wisconsin-Parkside, 900 Wood Road, Kenosha, WI, 53405 E-mail: piele@uwp.edu


The USA Computing Olympiad (USACO) supports pre-college computing around the world through computer programming competitions and training materials. The USACO holds six Internet-based contests each year. Unique in the contest community, they

- are open to every pre-college programmer around the world at no charge;

- feature three divisions of escalating difficulty and one beginning level contest;

- are machine-graded, with instant feedback on simple errors found during submission;

- are analyzed with solutions and results provided;

- are translated into foreign languages for the contestants;

- are created by a handful of coaches with the help of assistant coaches who interact through a comprehensive website that collects problems, test data, solutions, data validators, and discussions.

The USACO has reached out to the international community by

- inviting international students to challenge our students at the USA International Computing Olympiad (USAICO) here at Colorado College during our summer program;

- providing a discussion form on our website for contests and training pages;

- grading and ranking international students along with our own;

- providing a grading system for IOI 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008 (expected).

In April, the USACO conducts the US Open, a proctored exam for US students, and, one day later, an Internet exam for international students. Based on the results of these contests, 16 students are invited to an all-expense-paid training camp in the early summer, where 4 students are selected to be the US Team at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI).

The USACO is sponsored by USENIX, SANS, and IBM. All USACO contest administration is staffed by 100% volunteers.


USACO, USAICO, internet programming competitions, pre-college programming competitions, programming training, IOI, USA team selection

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