Rob Kolstad



I'm Rob Kolstad, USACO coach.  I was reared in Oklahoma before
attending Southern Methodist University (which offered the first
ever Bachelors Degree in Computer Science). I had been programming
since 7th grade (steam-powered computers back then) in a variety
of languages.

I organized my first programming contest at SMU about 30 years ago.
Subsequently, I followed my favorite professors to Notre Dame, where
I majored in Electrical Engineering (theory). Left for U.Illinois
two years later and spent six years there culminating in a Ph.D.

UI was home of Plato, a huge system intended for computer-aided
instruction.  It was passable at teaching but just phenomenal at
online communication (email, forums of a sort) and multiplayer
games. Users of Plato were connected full-time directly to the large
CDC computers so latency was low for games whose graphics were
astounding then, less so now.  Plato was good for programming
contests since programmers were spread around the world.

I then joined a (successful) supercomputer startup company in Texas
where I spent half a dozen years before moving on to yet another
startup company (unsuccessful) in Colorado.  The software group was
hired by Sun Microsystems, enabling continued residence here. I
then moved to manage BSDI, a startup company selling the BSD-style
UNIX-clones. Being sued by the phone company was bad for our cash
resources. I subsequently have worked for several companies in
conference and technical association management.

I began working with Don around 1982. I've been to all the training
camps and work diligently to keep the computer support running for
training and contests.

I am also the head judge of our regional science fair. I enjoy
photography, scuba diving, home architecture, piano, FPS PC games,
and quiz shows.

I look forward to seeing all of you in just a few weeks.