On January 15th, 2017, NUST MISIS and MIPT held an Olympiad on Competitive Programming for schoolchildren. The event was organized by NUST MISIS, MIPT, and a company named Cognitive Technologies. More than 1500 schoolchildren from 7th — 11th grade and hailing from Russia and Belarus participated in the Olympiad. The competition was held under the rules of ACM ICPC.
In 2016, MIPT joined the Olympiad`s organization, and for the first time it was included in the national list of Olympiads for Schoolchildren approved by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. It immediately was placed on the second tier, which entitles the Olympiad winners to apply for enrollment at many Russian universities with the use of special rights, defined by each institution independently. When applying to NUST MISIS and MIPT, winners will also have select privileges.
At MIPT winners receive an additional 6 points and the prize-winners receive 4 points. According to the Olympiad results, applicants can enter the NUST MISIS College of IT & Automated Control Systems without placement testing. The college offers the following areas of studies: “Applied Mathematics”, “IT & Computer Engineering”, “IT Systems & Technologies”, and “Applied IT”.
“According to the results of our 2016 admission campaign the NUST MISIS College of IT & Automated Control Systems became the most requested among applicants — the competition for every available student spot was between up to 20 people. The admitted students to the NUST MISIS College of IT & Automated Control Systems have the highest average score for the Unified State Exam [at NUST MISIS], at 84.1. In addition, in comparison with other NUST MISIS Colleges, most of this College’s freshmen hold a special scholarship called ‘Best MISIS — Creating the Future’, which allows students with a high Unified State Exam score to get an additional 20,000 Rubles toward their academic scholarship”, said Alevtina Chernikova, Rector of NUST MISIS.
Participants were given 5 hours to solve 10 tasks. To check their solutions the automated check system Yandex Contest was used. The checking system made its decisions through the programming languages C, C++, Pascal, Java, and Python.
“To check their scores, participants were sent the solution algorithm implemented in one of the offered programming languages, and they immediately received a response. According to regulations, for the first four hours participants could see their position in the table relative to the other participants. During the fifth hour this opportunity was closed — participants could see only their own results”, said Artem Voronov, Vice-Rector Academic and pre-University Education of MIPT.
The overall rank of each participant was determined based on the number of solved tasks minus the penalty points assigned for the total time spent finding solutions and the number of attempts. For each additional attempt, similar to a biathlon, 20 minutes were administered.
According to Olga Uskova, President of the group of companies Cognitive Technologies, “The Olympiad aims not to collect award-winning participants from prestigious schools of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, who have already confirmed their potential in competitive programming, but to conduct a search and selection of the most talented children from all over Russia. We expect them in the next few years to be able to join our team at NUST MISIS in competitive programming, to come to our department of artificial intelligence systems, and to work in breakthrough projects. These bright young minds are extremely in-demand”.
Tasks of varying difficulty levels were present at the Olympiad: the first task was solved by 80% of participants, but the two most challenging tasks weren’t properly solved by anyone.
19 people became winners and prize-winners of the Open Olympiad for Programming: five of them received diplomas of the I degree, three — II degree and 11 — III degree. The difference between first and second place was only 34 penalty minutes.