Friday, June 01, 2012

Programming Contest Results

The results from the 2012 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest are in, and Waterloo finished 9th in the world. Congrats to my colleague Ondrej Lhotak and to students Tyson Andre, Benoit Maurin and Anton Raichuk.

What's particularly interesting to me is the continued excellent performance of Russia and former-Soviet-Union countries such as Belarus and Kazakhstan. What accounts for their dominance? Is there some lesson from their educational system we can draw on in North America?

1 comment:

Circe said...

I am not sure a lot of lessons can be drawn about education systems from results in international competitions. The US for example does very well on the International Math Olympiad, but not so well on the International Physics Olympiad. India does very well on the International Physics Olympiad, but not so well on the International Math Olympiad. Is the Indian educational system Physics oriented and the US system Math oriented? That would be a strange conclusion to draw. Iran and China do very well on both.

The truth remains that results in these competitions just demonstrate how good training a small number of students (perhaps a few thousands) are willing/able to get. I don't think it says much about the education system in general.