Minilek's blog

By Minilek, history, 2 months ago, In English,

Hi all,

I personally "grew up" in the programming contest community, especially before Codeforces began when TopCoder and UVA were two of the biggest sites. I'm now a computer science professor with a research focus on algorithms, which I don't think would have been true if it weren't for sites like this one. After my own experiences in my youth, I decided in my free time to provide such an experience for some young folks.

I co-organize a free intensive 4-week summer program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia introducing high schoolers to programming and algorithms (AddisCoder: Over 150 students have completed previous iterations of the program. The students are very good. Alumni have gone on to study at Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, and many other institutions in the U.S., Ethiopia, Germany, and U.A.E. They have also gone on to work both as interns and full-time software engineers at Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, etc. A few alumni from the first offering of the course are now pursuing their PhDs in computer science or mathematics. (See the program website for program details and blurbs on some alumni).

AddisCoder will be offered again in 2018 with over 240 high school students and some college students (previous iterations each had less than 85 participants). Students are hand-picked by the Ministry of Education to be the top in the country, chosen from every region (Ethiopia has > 100 million people).

We are looking for teaching assistants! We have funding to cover full expenses (flight, lodging, etc.) for some number of TAs.

If you're interested, check out, or e-mail me at

I love the online programming contest community, and I think it would be great to do some outreach that gets citizens from even more countries involved. (All while getting a free trip to see another country. :))

-Jelani Nelson ("Minilek")

  • Vote: I like it  
  • +172
  • Vote: I do not like it  

4 weeks ago, # |
  Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

I'm wrapping up offers to interested TAs now, so if anyone else is interested, please apply very soon!