AP Computers and USACO

COMPUTER OLYMPIAD COURSES

Like programming? Love solving puzzles and problems? We have great news for you! We have the perfect class for you!

CyberMath’s USACO program goes beyond just learning coding and simple programming. Our courses emphasize computational thinking and application of acquired skills in possible real life scenarios. Our students learn to apply mathematical thinking and analytical skills to advanced computer algorithms. Our computer science students develop the skills to solve complex problems by using advanced algorithms.

Our computer science courses are all about algorithms! So, what is an algorithm?

An algorithm is a systematic list of instructions for accomplishing a task, and the task can be anything. Often some of the specific steps in the procedure are to be repeated until the task is done. Normally, there are different algorithms for the same task, some better than others. A cooking recipe is one kind of algorithm. Some recipes for making potato salad, for example, have “peel the potato” before “boil the potato”, while some have the “boil” step before the “peel” step, but they all call for those steps to be repeated for however many potatoes there are, and they all end when the potato salad is ready to eat. (http://encyclopedia.kids.net.au/page/al/Algorithm)

We don’t just teach a programming language and ask the students to repeat or copy some language to produce pre-prescribed results, we ask our students to produce solutions to possible real life problems.

In short, in our Computer Olympiad program we teach Computer Science, not just a programming language.

Why are Algorithms Important?

Because algorithms control your life.

We can see them at work in the world. We know they’re shaping outcomes all around us. But most of us have no idea what they are — or how we’re being influenced by them.

Algorithms are invisible pieces of code that tell a computer how to accomplish a specific task. Think of it as a recipe for a computer: An algorithm tells the computer what to do in order to produce a certain outcome. Every time you do a Google search or look at your Facebook feed or use GPS navigation in your car, you’re interacting with an algorithm.

Algorithms are making hugely consequential decisions in our society on everything from medicine to transportation to welfare benefits to criminal justice and beyond. Yet the general public knows almost nothing about them, and even less about the engineers and coders who are creating them behind the scenes.

Read more about algorithms..

How hard or advanced is it compared to AP Computers?

AP Computers corresponds to the beginning level of our USACO Silver Level. We have USACO Gold and USACO Platinum levels after that.

Difference of CyberMath’s CS Classes

At most schools and learning centers, students learn how to write simple code, face sample challenges that are too simple, get lectured on and memorize pre-designed algorithms and code blocks and get conditioned to produce or repeat the same code when asked. Most parents feel happy to see their kids write some code and as a result see something on the screen move up and down, without realizing that this learning is only superficial.

CyberMath’s USACO courses focus on Computer Science and algorithms rather than computer programming and rote memorization. Computer Science is completely different than this traditional type of “teaching” of programming.

At the center of CyberMath’s Computer Science classes is gaining an understanding of how computers and computing work, developing advanced problem-solving skills by designing and employing complex algorithms in an interactive environment featuring engaging and fun games, puzzles and possible real life scenarios.

"A major factor in my resume why I got an interview with this dream company was the fact that I participated in Computing Olympiads during my high school years and the questions they asked me during the interview were very similar to what I studied when I prepared for the USACO competitions and the IOI (Oscar T. - A Silicon Valley Engineer)"

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