USA Computing Olympiad Team to IOI 1997
Dan Atkins(S), Ben Mathews, Matt Craighead(G) Russ Cox(B)

The USA Computer Olympiad committee announced today its contest lineup for the 1997 computer programming competition year with new Internet-hosted contests in addition to the normal USACO competition and training rounds. The season will be capped with four students competing in the the 1997 International Computing Olympiad (known as the IOI) which is slated for Cape Town, South Africa.

USACO's goal is to select a team of four high school students to represent the United States in the annual International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), an international computer programming contest similar in structure to the Math, Physics, and Chemistry Olympiads.

The 9th IOI will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from November 30 to Dec 7, 1997. 

Internet Contests


  Unlike previous years in which only one set of competitions was held, the USACO committee is holding extra contests to foster competition, recognize outstanding performance, and increase the level of expertise of pre-college programmers.

Some of the new contests will have new formats: varying numbers and types of problems, varying time limits, and even varied entrance criteria. Most of the contests, though, emphasize individual competition and programming (vs. team contests popular in other venues). Each contest has two levels: Division I and the more advanced Division II. Generally, students self-select the Division in which they intend to compete. High finishers in Division I contests are classified as Division II contestants for future contests.


  • Dec 3-5, 1996 :
    The USACO Fall US Open. It is open to all pre-college students who have Internet access.
  • Jan 15-17, 1997 :
    The USACO Winter Tournament is open to all pre-college students who have access to the Internet.
  • Feb 8-15, 1997 :
    Qualifying Round 1 (for those who choose not to enter the previous contests); no prizes, just an easy qualification round for the US Nationals.

Rob Kolstad, has created a Challenge-of-the-Week (COW) for high school students interested in solving computer programming problems. It is maintained via e-mail at Send a message to: Include the text "subscribe hs-computing" in the body of the message. This is a wonderful opportunity for those seriously interested in making the final round of the USACO.

National Championship


The USACO National Championship is a five-hour proctored competition that is conducted at local high schools under the direction of a local coordinator.
  • April 8, 1997

Summer Training Camp


USACO Olympiad Training Camp and USACO Finals, is held at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Approximately 15 students are invited by the USACO committee. All expenses are paid by USENIX. Four students will be chosen to represent the USA at the 9th IOI in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • June 9 - 17, 1997