Interview with Ketevan Tsimakuridze

Ketevan Tsimakuridze came first place in EGOI 2022. Now she is preparing for this year’s competition.

Ketevan is currently competing several times a week and is a part of her home country Georgia’s national team of programming champions. She has still a year left of studies but afterwards she is planning to study abroad in the US, preferably computer science at MIT.

We look forward to meet her and the other competitors this summer at EGOI 2023!

Tell us about yourself

My name is Ketevan, I am from Georgia and am 17 years old. I represent Georgia in international and European olympiads in informatics. I study at Komarovi public school with focus on maths and physics. I became a national team member in informatics 2022. (Interviewer tells that he likes the Georgian water drink Borjomi. Ketevan says that it has its name from the place where the water is taken, Borjomi, which is a resort in Georgia, she sometimes spend time there in the summer.)

How did you discover competitive programming?

I started learning Pascal in 6th grade, and then switched to C++ when joining the school: Mziuri center. I enjoy solving problems, and in 9th grade I started to prepare intensely for the upcoming competition Europe junior informatics 2020. I developed a daily routine of practicing my programming skills and now I compete several times a week on international online competitions. It is fun to compete with people from other countries and these competitions are important because of the rating system. I got first place in EGOI 2022 and when the Georgia national team competed in the 2022 IOI, where I received a silver medal.

What did you think of the problems at EGOI 2022?

I really liked them. Problem 3 on day 1 was my favorite. It was a graph problem. I spent a lot of time solving it first attempting to solve it by subtasks. I also liked problem 4 on day 2, I still haven’t figured out that one.

What would you say to people who are thinking about participating in EGOI?

I would definitely recommend participating for several reasons. First, it is fun to see the host country through exhibitions and talking to guides. Second, you get to meet other people that share interests and goals and maybe also views. Thirdly, it is a really rewarding experience practicing controlling time limits and emotions under pressure, it will improve your problem solving skills. EGOI definitely helps you expand your friend circle and meet new people.

What are your plans for the future?

As I have a year left, my plan is to continue practicing competitive programming and perform the best I can on EGOI 2023. My long term goal is to apply for several US universities and hopefully continue my studies in the US in computer science, preferably at MIT.

If you are eligible, what do you most look forward to about EGOI 2023?

Learning more about Sweden and its culture. The excursions! Meet new people and meet those I met earlier at EGOI 2022. Trying to perform the best way I can is also a goal I look forward to.

What is your favorite data structure?

My favorite data structure is either segment tree beats or wavelet tree. Still need to learn a bit about the former and latter I read about a year ago and really liked it since it helped me greatly reduce the time complexity of an algorithm. Persistent segment tree O(n log2(n)) went down to O(n log n).

What is your favorite algorithm?

Heavy Light decomposition, which is basically dividing a tree into several paths moving from a vertex to a root, we don’t need to switch paths more than log(n) times.

Which language do you usually code in?


What is your favorite IDE?

I would say Codeblocks, but I am not really using many features. I mostly debug using paper and pen.