Sunday, February 1, 2009

UCT Algorithm Circle

After much grinding away, we had our first class of the UCT Algorithm Circle this past Thursday. We invited 32 of the most talented school kids we could find in the Cape Town area and invited them to some training. We're also slowly inviting kids outside of Cape Town to train online. We're teaching them from the very basics of programming right through to the advanced algorithms and data structures required for the IOI.

For the first class, we introduced the basics of Python. We were amazed at how quickly the kids caught on. After a 20 minute lecture and 60 minute practical session they were understanding operations, variables, stdio and more. The majority of these kids are in grades 9 and 10, and amazingly half are girls.

If things continue at the rate they're going now, this could provide a serious boost to our IOI results in upcoming years. We've always been welcome to the idea of training a wider audience, but finding the talented kids and getting them interested has always been a brick wall we couldn't knock down. This time though, collaboration with one of the people involved in the teaching kids for the IMO has seriously helped change all that.

To see the kids we have, just check out some of their introductions in this thread to see what they're capable of.

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