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August 18, 2010

USA Wins World High School Programming Championships—Snaps Extended China Winning Streak

The USA Computing Olympiad announced that this year's four-member USA elite high school programming team nabbed the top team spot at the world programming championships (the International Olympiad on Informatics) whose final round was held today at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

The USA programmers earned three of the top 13 spots among the 300 competitors from 83 countries vying for medals. USA Gold medal winners included: #4 Wenyu Cao who will be a senior at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts in the fall; #5 Michael Cohen from Montgomery Blair, a magnet high school in Silver Spring, Maryland who will be attending MIT this fall; and #13 Neal Wu, from Baton Rouge Magnet High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who will be attending Harvard in the Fall. Brian Hamrick from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia earned a silver medal for 44th place; he will be attending MIT in the fall.

China, Japan, and Russia tied as runners-up to the USA team effort with Bulgaria and the Czech Republic tying for fifth. Germany was seventh.

Head coach Dr. Rob Kolstad praised the team: "Our team trained for hundreds of hours over the last couple years; some members competed in three dozen contests last year. They've done a terrific job transferring that training into competitive success."

Educational Director Dr. Brian Dean noted, "This victory demonstrates that USA pre-college students can excel and win in tough international competitions where the Chinese have dominated for almost a decade."

USACO's mission to promote pre-college computing and recognize outstanding competitors is supported by: USENIX, the Advanced Computing Systems Association; Booz Allen Hamilton, the Strategy and Technology Consulting Firm; IBM, International Business Machines; and ita Software, Innovative Travel Technology.

IOI 2010 sported new sorts of innovative tasks that rewarded exceptional levels of problem-solving creativity -- just the thing USA students excel at.

Team Photo: From left: Michael Cohen, Brian Hamrick, Neal Wu, and Wenyu Cao

Individual Photos: Brian Hamrick | Neal Wu | Michael Cohen | Wenyu Cao

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