The USACO coaching team is proud to announce the schedule and format for the
upcoming 2008-2009 pre-college programming contest season.
Most of the hallmarks of the USACO competition remain unchanged:
1. All pre-college students throughout the world with access to the internet
are eligible (except cheaters who have been banned).
2. No fees are charged.
3. Contest languages include C, C++, Pascal, and Java.
4. Register at http://ace.delos.com/usacoregister (for
contests and training).
5.Training can be found at http://train.usaco.org.
6.Contests beyond the first-year level are three to five hours in length.
7. Results are widely disseminated and reported on the USACO web site.
8.The 'big prize' is an invitation to the USA Invitational
Computing Olympiad in the first half of June, 2009.
9.The 'biggest prize' is selection for the four-student USA
international traveling team that will represent the USA in
Bulgaria at the International Olympiad where 70 other countries will also
compete in August, 2009.
10. And, finally, cheaters are banned for life.
The elite level
with the most difficult challenges. The lowest-level competitors in this
division should be able to create a dynamic programming algorithm from
scratch (similar to the old Green division).
Just below the
Gold division, Silver competitors should know a number of standard computer
algorithms (e.g., the flood-fill algorithm). Silver is similar to the old
Students who can write
programs that work, including ad hoc programs that don't require fancy
Our first contest will be the three hour USACO
Only those who wish to move up from their current competition level
need take this exam. Its scores will be used only for qualifying
-- they will not be used for determination of national champions, invitations to travel camps, etc.
The tasks and scoring are anticipated to facilitate placement of
competitors at the proper level. Not all competitors will solve all
problems. It is possible (after subsequent contests) to be invited
to move down a division if it is clear that the contestant is
is this year's schedule for this year's contests.
Contest lengths are not shown because we choose the length based
on the problems the contest contains, though generally they will
be three hours in length. Except for the US Open, contests run from
Friday through Monday, USA Mountain Time:
-- Unified Contest Schedule ------------------------------------------
[Only USACO contests are currently known]
* 17-20 Oct, 2008 -- USACO Qualification Contest ** OPTIONAL **
* 7-10 Nov, 2008 -- USACO November Contest
* 5- 8 Dec, 2008 -- USACO December Contest
* 9-12 Jan, 2009 -- USACO January Contest
* 6- 9 Feb, 2009 -- USACO February Contest
* 13-16 Mar, 2009 -- USACO March Contest
* 23 Apr, 2009 -- US Open for USA (no proctoring this year)
* 24-27 Apr, 2009 -- US Open for International
* 27May-4Jun, 2009 -- USA Invitational Computing Olympiad (~8 days, by
* 8-14 Aug, 2009 -- IOI, Plovdiv, Bulgaria (by invitation)
Additional contests will be announced a few weeks in advance of the
competition (just like last year's holiday contest).
We look forward to an exciting year of competition. Please join us!
I'll send details of each contest a few days before it starts.