19th International Olympiad in Informatics28/08/2007 Written by Ivica Koritic
Readers 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: