ACS Success at the Regional Round of the IT Olympiad 2024

By Paulina Todorova and Rositsa Todorova

Momchil and Kaloyan

Three ACS students did magnificently at the regional Round of the Information Technology Olympiad, held March 2, 2024, and took top spots in the category for students Grades 11-12. Dimitar Zhekov (12/9) participated with his project Uchi-Bib (roughly Learn-Lib) in the "Distributed Applications" strand, while Kaloyan Dimitrov (11) and Momchil Kolev (12) participated as a team with a 3D-printed four-legged robot project in the "Advanced Visual Information Systems" and "Big Data" strands. Dimitar Zhekov's project, supervised by Dr. Paulina Todorova, ranked 3rd in the Distributed Applications strand with 89 points. In Big Data, the project of Kaloyan Dimitrov and Momchil Kolev, supervised by Dr. Rositsa Todorova, ranked first with 93 points. Congratulations to the teams and their leaders!

It took Dimitar Zhekov 7-8 months to develop Uchi-Bib/Learn-Lib, an innovative library cataloging system. Designed for students, teachers, and librarians, it offers easy access to educational resources and books, and facilitates the work of librarians. According to Dimitar, the project’s goal is to enrich the learning experience and stimulate curiosity." The system was developed using a wide range of web technologies. The database is based on PostgreSQL, the backend is built with Java and Spring Boot for flexibility and fast processing. Information search and analysis are implemented using ElasticSearch, Logstash, and Kibana. The frontend was developed with Angular and TypeScript. The system is containerized using Docker to facilitate future publishing and distribution of the application. Identity management is implemented by integrating Keycloak for security. 

Dimitar is a student in the Hardware and Software Profile in the Computer Science Department and the president of the Full-Stack Software Engineering Club and works with determination and consistency together with the club members every Wednesday after school to implement software related to finding citations from books using artificial intelligence, in addition to creating the library system. Dimitar is a computer enthusiast and is particularly interested in complete software solutions and artificial intelligence. He has previously participated in the Learn-Bulgarian Academy of Sciences research conference with a project on deep neural networks. In addition, in the Full-Stack Software Engineering club, with sponsors Dr. Paulina Todorova and Dr. Rositsa Todorova, he teaches material (SQL, React, SpringBoot, Docker, etc.) that is useful for club members' realization as software developers. The material complements what the 11th and 12th Grade students have learned in computer science and expands further their knowledge and practice.

Kaloyan Dimitrov and Momchil Kolev are developing a 3D-printed four-legged robot tasked with patrolling forests to fight illegal logging and forest fires, as well as to serve as a platform for education and research in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence. The robot can operate on difficult terrain, report fires, and capture intruders using facial recognition. It is possible to program directly from the user interface visually (similar to Scratch) or textually in Python. The robot is quiet and has a battery life of several hours, allowing it to effectively monitor forests without adversely affecting the fauna there. The robot is also the perfect platform for training at any level in robotics and artificial intelligence. It is suitable for young children taking their first steps in robotics with visual programming, for whom the robot would provide a visual and engaging introduction to the field, as well as for scientific researchers who can benefit from an affordable platform to try out complex algorithms and artificial intelligence directly on an end device. Thanks to the hobby electronics and the 3D printing that Kaloyan and Momchil use, the robot is affordable and thus ideal for use on a large scale as needed for effective forest patrolling. This also makes it accessible to educational institutions in less developed regions.

After their excellent performance at the IT Olympiad, the three ACSers are waiting to hear from the National Committee which projects are admitted to the national round of the IT Olympiad. 

Congratulations and success wsihes to the students and their teachers!