Monday, September 3, 2007

South African Computer Olympiad Online Contest

In the words of Bruce Merry:

For the first time, we will be running an online version of the South African Computer Olympiad, similar to the way this year's IOI was run as an online contest, and we would like to invite anyone who is interested to take part. The SACO is an IOI-style contest run over two
days. The online contest will run

Saturday 15 September 13:30-18:30 SAST (11:30-16:30 GMT)
Sunday 16 September 10:00-15:00 SAST ( 8:00-13:00 GMT)

More information is available at
We have not yet set up the registration system. I will make another announcement when this is ready, but I wanted to provide advance notice.

In my words:

If you participate in the 2nd round of the SACO (past/present), this is a great opportunity to see how you would have fared in the 3rd round (assuming you haven't progressed of course). If you've done any other programming contest and enjoyed it, if you've even just considered taking part or wanted to, but couldn't for any reason, it's worth a shot.

The online contest is open to everyone, including college students, people already out working in the real world and professors. It's not limited to South Africans, but open to the world. Basically, the only people that cannot compete are those involved in the organisation and those participating in the real contest.

The problems will be identical to those in the real contest. So besides competing off-site and not being eligible for the prizes, it's identical. It would be great to get a good turnout for the first run!

Languages supported are Java, C/C++, Python and Pascal.

UPDATE: Registration is now open. More details here.


  1. Will promote this in Indonesian IOI list.

    Thanks for the opportunity. :)

  2. I think you should convince Bruce to improve the stories in the problems :P

  3. @ilham: Cool - would be nice to extend this to a good number of people.

    @alapan: If you're really serious about that (as I think they're good compared to other contests) you're welcome to help us. :)

    You might want to look at our past problems.

  4. @marco: in that case, it'd be a good idea to leave a post on TopCoder's forum ;)

  5. Thanks for the suggestion, it has now been done!

  6. A snippet from Carl's post:

    Of course, our problems will feature the usual crazy selection of Monty Python related material -- the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog has been known to make a past appearance, perhaps he'll be back to face another group of intrepid programmers? Or will the salmon mousse stop everyone dead in their tracks? If you're just interested in the warped ways that we can turn Monty Python into programming problems, then drop by the site during the contest and take a peek ;-)

  7. Its quite interesting for internet users.