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Indian Computing Olympiad Books:

The Indian Computing Olympiad is a competition held nationwide and is conducted by IARCS annually. The main aim of this competition is to recognize school students who have exceptional skills in algorithms and computer programming. Like all exams, a set of reference books is important to crack it. In this article, find best reference Indian Computing Olympiad Books.

This Olympiad is open to all school students from any school board, across the country. Every candidate who is registered in school up to class 12 during the current academic year is eligible for the same. This test does not have any lower age limit for participation.

The Indian Computing Olympiad is conducted to pick a team of 4 students that will represent India at the International Olympiad for Informatics (IOI). IOI is one of the twelve International Science Olympiads that gets held annually. The other famous Science Olympiads include Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Astronomy.

The 1st round of the Indian Computing Olympiad is held in two parts.

  • The Zonal Informatics Olympiad (ZIO): This is a written exam that is held at many centres across the country.
  • Alternatively, candidates can also be eligible for the second round by taking part in the Zonal Computing Olympiad (ZCO), which is a programming contest. The programming languages it supports are C, C++, Java and Python.
  • ZIO-2019 would be conducted on 18 November 2018 and ZCO-2019 would be held on 2 December, 2018.

Note that in the 2nd round, the Indian National Olympiad in Informatics (INOI) includes programming. INOI-2019 would be conducted in early January, 2019. The programming languages it supports are C++ and Java.

About 30 students get chosen from INOI for the IOI Training Camp (IOITC). IOITC-2019 would be tentatively held during the beginning of May, 2019. Whereas, IOI-2019 will take place in Azerbaijan.

How to Prepare for ICO

  • It’s crucial to go through the Online Study Material for ICO. The syllabus for ZIO, ZCO and INOI is the list of Basic Topics that have been given in the Online Study Material.
  • Join the IOI online community.
  • Solve as many problems as possible online at the IARCS Problems Archive.

Incentives for Students

Here are some academic institutions in India that have special admission procedures for ICO students.

  • For students who perform well in ICO, Amrita University offers them a completely funded B.Tech. Honors CSE programme.
  • For students who get selected for IOITC in Class 12, the Chennai Mathematical Institute offers direct admission to them.
  • IIIT Delhi gives bonus marks to candidates who get selected for INOI and IOITC.
  • IIIT Hyderabad provides admission through the Olympiad category to students who get chosen for IOITC.
  • These international academic institutions offer special admission procedures for IOI students: The Faculty of Mathematics and the University of Waterloo, Canada offer Michael and Ophelia Lazaridis Olympiad Scholarships to IOI medalists.
  • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology also gives out scholarship schemes for IOI gold medalists.

Basic Topics of the Indian Computing Olympiad

  • Introduction
  • Efficiency
  • Searching
  • Sorting
  • Basic Graph Algorithms
  • Dynamic Programming
  • Greedy Algorithms
  • Computing Shortest Paths
  • Heaps
  • Permutations
  • Directed Acyclic Graphs
  • Computing Prefix Sums
  • Sliding Window Algorithms

Advanced Topics

  • Advanced Graph Algorithms
  • Dynamic Programming on Trees
  • Range Queries
  • Network Flows
  • Games and Strategies
  • Geometry

Registration Process

  • This is strictly an individual contest.
  • Candidates have to keep their admit cards handy at all times.
  • Students can get writing implements; however, cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed.
  • In a situation where there is network failure, you need to coordinate with the invigilator who is responsible for distributing electronic copies of the question papers and test data for each computer.
  • If there are any hardware or power glitches, you need to inform the invigilator as soon as possible.

Judging Criteria

  • The Indian Computing Olympiad is an IOI style contest. It simply implies that the problems will be partially graded. You would need to get a score for passing certain test data.
  • The leaderboard and other crucial users’ activity would not be made visible to the participants.
  • The time that you would take to solve a problem would not be considered. The only factor used for deciding the ranking will be the total score and there would not be any tie-breaks based on the time taken.
  • The submissions by students would all be re-evaluated once the contest over with the help of more test data. Therefore, the evaluation results you would get are not final. The current evaluation is done against the test data found on your computer.
  • The decision taken by the organizers in declaring the results will be final. No queries would be entertained in this regard.
  • If any participant is found indulging in any form of malpractice, he/she will be immediately disqualified.

Rules and Regulations

  • For the INOI, the allowed languages are C, C ++ and JAVA.
  • The total time limit for Java is twice the time limits for C and C ++.
  • Never talk about your strategy, suggestions or tips in the comments during a live contest. However, if you want to post questions to get more clarity about the problem statement, then it is ok.
  • Every program is tested based on the critical test data. But the output and input should be exactly as specified in the samples provided.

Recommended Computing Olympiad Books

1.    Algorithms

The best way to learn the background material is by having access to a good textbook on algorithms. It should include detailed presentations along with a lot of appealing examples. One such recommended book would be:

Algorithm Design, by Jon Kleinberg and Evá Tardoss

The next book is perhaps the most comprehensive textbook available on algorithms currently, but note that it can be a tad heavy to read.

Introduction to Algorithms, by Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest and Clifford Stein

But if you need an easy-to-read and readily available book, then the following would be a great option. It used to be available online for free, but unfortunately, it no longer is.

Algorithms, by S. Dasgupta, C.H. Papadimitriou, and U.V. Vazirani

2.    Competitive Programming

There are many books that are specifically made for algorithms and data structures for competitive programming.

One of the oldest one, which is also strongly connected to the UVa archive of ACM ICPC problems is the following.

Programming Challenges: The Programming Contest Training Manual, by Steven Skiena and Miguel A. Revilla

If you’re looking at something aimed at both IOI and ICPC, then a more recent book by Steven Halim should suffice:

Competitive Programming, by Steven Halim

You can also access one more new book by Antti Laaksonen that is available online for free download.

Competitive Programmer’s Handbook, by Antti Laaksonen

If you have any questions or clarifications about the Indian Computing Olympiad, then please write to Madhavan Mukund, National Coordinator, Indian Computing Olympiad at [email protected].

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