I am writing this blog to get everyone's opinion on attracting more contestants and keeping them engaged to my country's (Cyprus) OI. These are questions asked by me, a participant, not the organizers of the olympiad.
Team Selection Contests
Our team selection is composed of 3 rounds (100 points problems, with subtasks, full feedback, no penalty, no live ranking).
- The first round is a 5-hour contest of 4 problems (mainly implementation problems, codeforces DIV2B difficulty is the hardest). 200 points or greater lets you proceed to the next round
- The second round is a 5-hour contest of 4 problems (focused on basic graph problems, easy do, binary search, and ad-hoc problems). The top 16 contestants proceed to the next round
- The third round is 2 days of 5-hour contests, of 3 problems each (harder graph and do problems, problems using segment tree/other data structures, hard ad-hoc problems, strings, maths, usually the problems' difficulty is IOI easy-medium but can be easier). The top 4 contestants make the team that participates in IOI
The 20 (free) 90-minute lessons provided by the organizers cover:
- Introduction to C++
- Basic Algorithms (sortings, binary search)
- Basic Graph Algorithms (dfs,bfs, SSSP, MST)
- Classic DP problems (Knapsack, Coin Change, LCS, LIS)
Every year there is a spring 3-day camp organized, that covers more advanced material (Segment Trees, DP problems, Tree Queries, String Searching problems)
The organizers have set up:
- An official discord group for the community
- A well-maintained website with lots of material for studying.
- An online judge with past contest problems and problems from other sources.
- What do you think our organizers should do differently or do extra, to attract and keep more contestants, while also preparing them for the olympiads?
- How many contestants leave after the first few lessons? How many give up after the first round? What do you do to keep them engaged?
- How do you advertise your olympiad to reach your target audience?
- Any other general suggestions for growing the community?