The first annual USA Computing Olympiad (USACO) is announced.
The primary goal of the USACO is to select a team of four students to represent the United States in the annual International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). In 1993, the 5th IOI will be held in Mendoza, Argentina,
There are three rounds in the selection of the USA Team: Qualifying Round, Competition Round, and Final Round.
Qualifying Round (February 12-16, 1993)
The qualifying round is the first level in the USACO. The purpose of this first round is to let students know the level of programming ability that is expected for success in later rounds of the USACO and IOI. In this open event, individual students are invited to work on a set of four problems, without any time restraints, and present their solutions to a local contest coordinator during the week of February 14-18.
All programs are to be written by individual students working alone. This round will help students see if they are at the level of programming ability necessary to succeed in the later rounds, which will be tightly controlled. Thus, only in this round will the judging be left up to the local coordinator. Each student must select an adult at their school to serve as their local coordinator. This person will be responsible for running the programs against the test files to see if the output is correct. This must be done during the week of February 12- 16, 1993.
Each student who can solve two or more of the qualifying round problems is ready to advance to the Competition Round.
Competition Round (March 10 or 12, 1994)
The competition round is a controlled, five-hour event administered by the local coordinator on Saturday, March 10. Monday, March 12 is reserved for those who cannot program on Saturday. The students' work is returned to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and graded by a team of judges from the USACO. The programs must be submitted on an IBM compatible or Macintosh disk and must use one of the official languages allowed by IOI (Pascal, C/C++, QuickBasic, or Logo). There is a $20 registration fee for each student who enters the competition round. This fee can be waived in cases of financial hardship. The top sixteen competitors will advance to the final round.
Final Round & Training Camp (June 15 - June , 1993)
The final round is an intensive week-long program which will result in the selection of four team member to represent the United States at the next International Olympiad in Informatics. It will be held on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It will include three days of training with practice problems and two days of competition following the rules of the IOI. All expenses, including airfare, will be paid for the 16 students selected for the final round.
The 5th IOI (October 9-16, 1993)
The International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) was created in 1989 at a meeting of UNESCO held in Paris. The first IOI, held in Bulgaria in May of 1989, was patterned after the successful international Olympiads in Mathematics and the Natural Sciences. The second IOI was held in the USSR and the third in Greece. In 1992, over 170 students from 50 countries attended the Fourth International Olympiad in Informatics held in Bonn, Germany. Nate Bronson and Shawn Smith won gold medals for the US Team in its first venture into IOI. The 5th IOI will be held in October in Argentina.
The first USACO is sponsored by the Center for Excellence (CEE) and hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.