Team Ireland go close at the Informatics Olympics in Russia

IOI2016-Pic1Like Ireland’s 400m sprinter Thomas Barr at the Rio Olympics, Team Ireland came very close to getting a Bronze medal at the Olympics of High-School Programming in Russia.

Teofil Camarasu, a sixth year student from Dundalk Community School came within 11 points of attaining a Bronze medal among 308 of the smartest young computer programmers from around the planet. 81 countries brought delegations to the prestigious 28th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) in Kazan, Russia for one the toughest tests of these young students’ lives. The IOI is one of five international science Olympiads for secondary school students with this Olympiad focusing on computing science and information technology and was first initiated by UNESCO in 1989. Each student must solve 6 algorithmic problems over two days of competition, with points awarded for how quickly their coded solution runs against large data inputs.

IOI2016-Pic2Team Ireland included Eoin Davey (18yr) from Summerhill College, Sligo, Teofil Camarasu (18yr) from Dundalk Grammar School, Co. Louth, John Ryan (17yr) from St. Joseph's College, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Kieran Horgan (16yr) from Davis College, Mallow, Co. Cork and Delegation Leaders, Gary Conway and Ximo Planells. All of the team scored points during the Olympiad but Teofil Camarasu came within a hair’s breath of bringing home Ireland’s second Bronze in three years. Like Ireland’s Thomas Barr in Rio, Teofil’s 228 point haul would have got him Bronze at the previous 3 IOIs.

The Delegation was chosen from the top young programmers at the All-Ireland Programming Olympiad (AIPO) National Finals in February after a series of programming bootcamps at Dublin City University (DCU). The AIPO has enjoyed continued support and sponsorship from Fidelity Investments Ireland, which has enabled AIPO to reach out to more talented students from around Ireland.

Delegation Leader Gary Conway from DCU says ‘To reach an IOI for tremendous achievement for these young men and something that will always stand out on their CV. The skills required to reach an IOI is exactly the type of engineering skills so sought after in the software industry today: computational thinking and generation of quality code under pressure. They have a bright future ahead of them!’

Tadhg O’Shea, Vice President of Software Engineering, Fidelity Investments Ireland, said ‘We know that these students worked so hard to get to the IOI and we are really proud of their performance in such a tough competition. Like the Irish athletes in Rio, we hope that their achievements inspire other young students in Ireland to learn programming and consider a future career in technology’.

IOI2016-Pic3Of course another important goal of the AIPO and IOI is to bring together exceptionally talented students and to have them share scientific and cultural experiences during this trip of a lifetime.

Team Ireland had some time in beautiful Moscow before the IOI to visit the Museum of Cosmonautics and the Museum of the Great Patriotic War (WWII). The former depicted the Soviet Union’s greatest engineering achievements in Space travel (first satellite in orbit, first man in space, first woman in space, etc) and the latter laid out the harrowing story of the Soviet defeat of the Nazis during WWII. During the IOI, the delegations visited the UNESCO world heritage site of the Kazan Kremlin and the historic island of Sviyazhsk on the great Volga, which Ivan the Terrible used as a military base during his conquest of Russia during the 16th century.

After the results were officiated by the IOI General Assembly, China took the top 2 overall positions of this year, with the host country, Russia taking 3rd and 4th position. Full details of scores and medals can be found here: http://stats.ioinformatics.org/results/2016

2016 IOI Problem statements can be viewed here: http://ioi2016.ru/pages/ps?locale=en

More photos and videos of Team Ireland visit to IOI 2016 can be seen on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DCU.AIPO/