National Finals - Computer Science Bee
NorthSouth Computer Science (CS) Bees are aimed at nurturing computer science and engineering skills among children attending grades 9 through 12, in a challenging environment.
Proficiency in computer science can be personally satisfying and empowering. The underpinnings of everyday life increasingly involve computer technology. CS has become foundational to humankind’s advancement, and is used in almost every field - including manufacturing, health, entertainment, travel, communication, defense, law enforcement, energy, buildings, arts, and of course, education! Students pursuing computer science find jobs in all of these fields. The North South Foundation CS Bee will better prepare children to take standardized tests like AP CS, and IB CS, and to pursue these careers.
Even those of us not pursuing CS careers benefit from CS knowledge; all of us use websites, emails and cell phones regularly. Algorithmic thinking assists us everyday in understanding the technology and applications around us, and to solve problems in a structured scientific way.
This year (2021), we are piloting the CS contest in an online format, among the Nationals contests in other subjects. While the other bees require qualification at the regional level, the CS Bee this year is open to all high school students without requiring regional qualification.
There is only one level of competition in Computer Science Bee:
- Senior (Computer Science Bee Level 3): Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12
- All high school students as of Jan 1, 2021 are eligible to register
Up to the top 6 rank-holders will receive a monetary award, as well as an opportunity to participate in a professional project.
In future years, we expect and plan to offer the CS Bee in two steps. First, students will participate in a regional contest, conducted in various states throughout USA. Qualified winners of the regional contests will be invited to participate in the National Final.
In addition to all the general contest rules stated by North South Foundation, the following rules are applicable for Computer Science competition.
Currently there is only 1 level of competition in Computer Science Bee:
- Senior (Computer Science Bee Level 3): Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12
- A 1st rank winner at the National Finals of the North South Foundation computer science bee (CSB) contest is not eligible for competing in this and future computer science bee contests conducted by the Foundation.
- The syllabus for the Computer Science Bee can be found on this website. It should be understood that any syllabus can only act as a guideline, but in the same given category of syllabus, the level of difficulty can vary dramatically to cover all aspects of the syllabus.
- Computer Science bee is held in one phase and is a multiple-choice format.
- Questions will be specified in 2 programming languages: Java-8 and Python-3. Contestants need to be familiar with at least one of the two languages, and can pick the language of choice. They need not know both programming languages.
- Only your answer choice entries, from the provided multiple choices, are recorded, and graded. Students are not required or enabled to upload their scratch paperwork showing the method that they used. There is no partial credit.
- Students can change their selected answer for any question during the contest. Once contest answers are submitted or if the time runs out, the contest cannot be reopened and no answers can be changed.
- There are NO negative points for incorrect answers. The contestant will be awarded one point for each correct answer and zero for each incorrect answer.
- Contestants may use blank paper sheets, pens and pencils for scratch work and calculations.
- Contestants must not use calculators, books, handwritten or electronic notes, websites, compilers, interpreters, other development/computer applications, phones, smart watches, or any other form of external help – in person, or by messaging/emails/etc.
- 11. The maximum time allocated to answer the 30 questions is 45 minutes.
- Based on the scores from the phase, the judges will determine the winners.
At the National Level, the top-6 winners will be announced. In announcing the ranks 1st - 6th, the judges will follow these rules:
- Announce Rank 6 if and only if there are at least 30 contestants.
- Announce Rank 5 if and only if there are at least 25 contestants.
- Announce Rank 4 if and only if there are at least 20 contestants.
- Announce Rank 3 if and only if there are at least 15 contestants.
- Announce Rank 2 if and only if there are at least 10 contestants.
- Announce Rank 1 (Champion) if and only if there are at least 5 contestants.
- DO NOT announce any ranks if there are less than 5 contestants.
Tiebreaker Rules: The tiebreaker rules apply ONLY if there are at least 5 or more contestants participating, and at the discretion of the judges/regional coordinator. If there is a tie, to break the ties, the scheme outlined below is followed in the order given:
- Score among questions 1-30
- Score among questions 26-30
- Score among questions 19-25
- Winners at the National Level. The announced-rank winners (up to the top 6) at the national level are awarded $500 each. They will also be offered an opportunity to participate in a professional project in the Fall with a production team to gain real-world experience in software development and validation.
- For Future Years, when Computer Science Bee is offered at Regional level:Best performing contestants will be invited to the National Finals subject to an upper limit to-be-determined. Up to the top-3 winners will be announced per contest-site. Rank 3 is announced if and only if there are at least 10 contestants. Rank 2 is announced if and only if there are at least 8 contestants. Rank 1 is announced if and only if there are at least 5 contestants. No ranks are announced if there are less than 5 contestants.
We plan to offer Computer Science workshops to benefit the students. These presume that students are already familiar with Java/Python programming (either is fine), and cover the additional concepts covered in the syllabus.
In addition, this page contains general resources for preparation for the contests. Some sample resources and books are categorized below. This is not an endorsement of any commercial product by us. You can search the web for better results and up-to-date links.
Khan Academy - Online Courses, Lessons and Practice: here .
"Building Java Programs" book - here .
"Learning Python" book - here .
The syllabus for North South Foundation CS Bee covers programming, algorithms and data structures, and also general understanding of computing. The following list provides an overview of the required skills, though is not intended as a comprehensive list.
- Students are required to know either Java or Python programming. They do not need to know both.
- Variable types, boolean math, bit operations, modulo math, 1D and 2D arrays, conditionals, iteration, methods, functions, recursion, classes, inheritance. For details, see the AP syllabus.
- Hash-map, Linked lists, Queues, Stacks, Trees, and Binary Search Trees.
- Sorting and Search algorithms.
- Algorithm time and space analysis (big-O complexity)
- General knowledge of popular OSes, databases, networking including IP addressing.