Recursive Dragon

algorithmic programming coaching

Algorithm-Oriented Programming Coaching

From its inception, the mission of Recursive Dragon has been to promote algorithmic thinking and instill a love for programming in young minds. Students are matched with a mentor from our small team of Carnegie Mellon University CS majors, potentially progressing from introductory programming in Scratch, Python, or Java all the way to the highest level of the USA Computing Olympiad.



Shiva was an excellent mentor to help me prepare for top tech interviews. His experience in competitive coding is unmatched. I would highly recommend him for any level of algorithmic preparation. He is highly compassionate and down to earth, and was a pleasure to work with.


Duke University

Shiva and I worked through various Gold topics, as well as Platinum topics. He is a very patient and friendly person, and an amazing role model :) Moreover, he is great at explaining difficult problems with clear diagrams and examples, and is passionate about the topics that he teaches. I grew as a programmer, and better understood many advanced topics with his coaching!


New York City

Recursive Dragon helped solidify my Python programming fundamentals, especially with data structures like sets and dictionaries. Eventually, Shiva helped me transition seamlessly to USACO Bronze, where I've learned a lot of new concepts and solved a lot of cow problems.


San Jose

Recursive Dragon helped prepare me for my Senior Software Engineer technical interview with Hudson River Trading. I now feel much more confident in identifying the base cases and transitions in Dynamic Programming problems for example, and I'd highly recommend Recursive Dragon for first time grads and experienced job hoppers alike.


Former Google L7 Engineer

Course Format

One on One Lessons

Students meet our mentors in private lessons over Zoom. Depending on the student's programming goals, lessons may include lectures on algorithms and data structures, object oriented project development, or active problem-solving of USACO problems. Our mentors will also assign homework and develop action items with students to hone their project or problem solution to perfection.

Small Group Lessons

Our algorithmic programming courses are highly personalized, with only 4 to 6 students and one mentor. Each of our courses emphasize a mixture of structured lectures and practice, combined with customized content based on each group.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The USACO is the most prestigious high school programming contest in the United States, and experience in it is highly valued by colleges and tech companies. Additionally, it's the ideal way to hone your mathematical reasoning and coding skills at the same time!

  • Our team consists entirely of students at Carnegie Mellon University with strong backgrounds in competitive math and programming. Our goal as programming mentors is teach coding skills of course, but also to stimulate our students intellectual vitality. We want to encourage them to explore the beautiful world of algorithms and mathematics.

  • We strongly believe that learning never stops. Our students always have full access to their mentors, and can request help or clarifications in our official Discord server if they have questions about a homework problem or an algorithm from lecture.

  • Based on the experience of our team of elite USACO Platinum contestants, consistency is key! Set goals of how many problems you want to solve every week, and don't let these goals slide. In the end, you'll greatly improve as a programmer and contestant.