• The culmination of competition – Exam 2 photo gallery

    by  • July 10, 2013 • 1 Comment

    A photo gallery of the second exam session during the 2013 International Olympiad in Informatics competition held in Brisbane at the University of Queensland.   The setting inside the UQ Centre for the second exam session, which was held on 10th July, 2013.   The 315 contestants reading the set tasks for the second exam, which were titled ‘Cave’, ‘Robots’ and ‘Game’....

    Read more →

    Contestants with interesting hobbies

    by  • July 10, 2013 • 0 Comments

    Simon Denmark

    Simon Eskilden collects walruses and has been fascinated by them ever since he was eight

    Computer programming is the focus of this event, and it seems like that is all contestants do. This is not the case. All of the students have a hidden hobby and here are a few of them.

    Chilean contestant Nicolas Orellana has a special interest in juggling. He has juggled bowling pins, balls and plates on sticks for over three years.

    “I practice a lot,” Mr Orellana said.

    When asked whether he prefers programming or juggling, “I enjoy programming and juggling the same,” he said.

    He also has an interest in surfing, origami and cycling.


    Chilean contestant Nicolas Orellana has a special interest in juggling

    Danish contestant Simon Eskilden has an interest in walruses.

    He owns about 50 toy walruses, a walrus costume and pictures that hang on his bedroom wall. A miniature walrus is his mascot at the contest this year.

    “I started loving walruses when I was about eight years old. I was in Florida at SeaWorld watching a seal show and in the middle of the show, there’s this music playing and out comes a huge walrus with these amazing tusks just walk in. I sit there and I’m just in love with this animal,” Mr Eskilden said.

    After the Olympiad is finished, Mr Eskilden will travel to Canada to “be closer to the walruses”.

    He hopes that some day he will have enough money to have a real walrus in his garden.

    Tom Israel

    Avid drummer, Tom Kalvari enjoys playing the drum kit

    Israeli contestant Tom Kalvari, 17 is an avid drummer.

    He had a band with two singers, a lead guitarist, two back guitarists and a bass player.

    “I don’t have a drum set at home so I’m hoping somehow I can keep that drumming alive,” Mr Kalvari said.

    He said programming and drumming cannot be compared as they are so different.

    “I love both things, but I’m probably going to do a degree in computer science and not in drumming, but it’s a really nice hobby; it’s really fun,” he said.

    It is not all about computer programming for the contestants. Hobbies are a major part of these contestants’ lives.

    How team leaders contribute to the IOI

    by  • July 10, 2013 • 0 Comments

    Brian USA

    Team leader for USA Dr Brian Dean has helped his team train, leading up to the IOI

    Contestants are the focus at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) and rightly so. However, without team leaders, contestants would not have the opportunity to compete in the IOI.

    United States of American (USA) team leader, Dr Brian Dean, has been coaching for the USA Computer Olympiads since 1997 and during that time he has been the team leader for the IOI on several occasions. This is his 13th time at this competition.

    In 1994, Dr Dean competed in the IOI as a student in Sweden where he received a silver medal.

    Dr Dean has a PhD in computer science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is professor of computer science at Clemson University in South Carolina.

    He is extremely involved in the selection process of contestants for the IOI.

    “I coordinate the five or six internet based programming contests that we hold, then we use that to select the top finalists and invite them to our training program,” he said.

    During the summer, Dr Dean and other volunteers run the one-and-a-half week training program and invite the top two-dozen students in the USA and from there, the top four. Those four go to compete in the IOI.

    “Last year USA contestant Johnny Ho came in first place overall, so he has quite a reputation for fulfill,” Dr Dean said.

    “I think my team are very well prepared and I have high expectations for them.”

    Most of the help has been given at training camp so the role of team leaders during the event is to make sure everything goes smoothly for their contestants.

    “We are there if they need us for anything, but they’re pretty much been very well trained up to this point so they’re on their own for the most part,” he said.

    It’s not all about complex algorithms this week; contestants have been going on excursions to Mooloolaba, Australia Zoo and the Gold Coast.

    “Australia has been wonderful so far, the climate is much better than it is back in the States. The people here are friendly and the food is good.”

    IOI heats up at the Sunshine Coast – photo gallery

    by  • July 10, 2013 • 1 Comment

    IOI groups eagerly anticipating buses to the Sunshine Coast. IOI contestants and visitors enjoying the seal show at Underwater World Mooloolaba. Nicolas Orellana, contestant from Chile, feeding Bella the Australian fur seal at Underwater World. IOI contestants and visitors leaving Underwater World and heading to lunch in the park at Mooloolaba beach. IOI enjoying...

    Read more →

    Coping with exam anxiety

    by  • July 9, 2013 • 0 Comments

    As competitors prepare for Wednesday’s second exam, Ashleigh Weidmann talks to some of them about the combination of anxiety and excitement that go along with the competitive spirit.

    Informatics develops more than just programming skills

    by  • July 9, 2013 • 1 Comment

    With the second exam of the 2013 International Olympiad of Informatics being held on Wednesday, informatics experts have said the competition develops more than just programming skills. According to IOI 2013 Scientific Chair Associate Professor Ben Burton, having three tasks released simultaneously creates an ongoing challenge that showcases skills not only in informatics, but...

    Read more →

    The long march from China to Google

    by  • July 9, 2013 • 0 Comments

    A dream job at Google or Facebook is what Lijie Chen, from China, hopes to achieve once he finishes his studies. The 17 year old from Hangzhou, China is competing in the 2013 International Olympiad in Informatics. Representing his country at the IOI is a great achievement, especially since contestants were selected from over...

    Read more →