19th International Olympiad in Informatics

28/08/2007 Written by Ivica Koritic

olympRead­ers of this por­tal may have not been aware, but the 19th Inter­na­tional Olympiad in Infor­mat­ics ended last week in Zagreb, Croa­tia. There were total of 285 high school con­tes­tants from 77 coun­tries, 11 of them were girls. The con­tes­tants were sit­u­ated at the stu­dent dor­mi­tory of Stjepan Radic, while the con­test and the open­ing and clos­ing cer­e­mony was held at the Zagreb Fair.

Each par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­try can have a team with 4 con­tes­tants, a team leader, a deputy team leader, and one or more observers and/​or guests. This year there was only one con­tes­tant with his team leader from Cuba, while the Egypt­ian team had about 20 mem­bers (next year’s olympiad will be in Egypt, so they wanted to get them­selves very famil­iar with the orga­ni­za­tion of this year’s olympiad).

The con­test part took only 2 days, but the teams stayed in Zagreb last week­end, and they enjoyed the sights of Zagreb and Croa­tia. While the con­tes­tants were solv­ing their tasks dur­ing the offi­cial part of the olympiad, observers and guests went to a few excur­sions. On Mon­day all teams (with guests and observers) went to a whole day excur­sion to lake Plitvice, a Croa­t­ian National Park, where they enjoyed the nat­ural beauty of the lakes. They also vis­ited the Nikola Tesla memo­r­ial cen­ter, he was a vision­ary and a great physi­cist and inven­tor in elec­trotech­nics, with­out whom the world would not be as it is today. The cen­ter was built at the site where the house in which he was born is, in Smil­jan (the house was ren­o­vated dur­ing for last year’s open­ing of the center.

At the olympiad the con­tes­tants write pro­grams to solve the tasks they get. In solv­ing these tasks, accord­ing to the rules, the con­tes­tants use only open source software.

The con­tes­tants and sup­port­ing staff gen­er­ally agree that the organ­i­sa­tion was flaw­less, at least for the offi­cial part of the olympiad, the excur­sion to Plitvice was pro­longed for a few hours because of some­what weaker organ­i­sa­tion. A spe­cial soft­ware was devel­oped in Croa­tia for eval­u­at­ing the tests (just imag­ine if you had to “man­u­ally” check and grade all the tasks?!). The soft­ware auto­mat­i­cally assigns dif­fer­ent start­ing con­di­tions for the tests, so the qual­ity of the tests can be seen.

This kind of soft­ware was pre­vi­ously devel­oped and used in other coun­tries also, but those sofware had mis­takes, so even some con­tes­tants got false awards at the award cer­e­mony. It seems that this year the eval­u­at­ing sofware worked flaw­lessly. Accord­ing to rules of the olympiad, half of the con­tes­tants get a medal, so they would be moti­vated and encour­aged for future com­pe­ti­tions. From that half, one sixth gets the golden medal, one third the silve, and one half the bronze medal.

The results can be seen at the web­site of Croa­t­ian Infor­mat­ics Alliance who orga­nized the event. The team from China was the most sucess­full team, all of their con­tes­tants were in the top 8. The win­ner of the olympiad is from Poland, Tomasz Kulczynski.

The host, team from Croa­tia won one golden and sil­ver medal, and four bronze ones (Croa­tia had two teams, offi­cial and unof­fi­cial — the host of every year can have an unof­fi­cial team). Goran Zuzic, the best Croat was 4th. You can find out more about the olympics on the fol­low­ing websites:

Offi­cial web­site of the Inter­na­tional Olympiad in Infor­mat­ics

Web­site of this year’s olympiad

Croa­t­ian Infor­mat­ics Alliance

Vidi­Lab — the offi­cial media spon­sor of the olympiad

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