01 September 2016 – Singapore students won one gold medal, two silver medals and one bronze medal at the 2016 International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) that was held in Kazan, Russia in mid-August.
NUS Computing faculty members and students have coached school and college students for IOI, the National Olympiad in Informatics (NOI) and the Asia-Pacific Informatics Olympiad (APIO) competitions since Singapore began participating in IOI in 1992. Gold medallist Jacob Teo Por Loong, who is currently in Secondary 4 at NUS High School, ranked 11th out of a pool over 300 contestants from 80 countries around the world. Junior College 1 (JC1) students Clarence Chew Xuan Da, Pang Wen Yuen and Zhang Guangxuan won the two silver and bronze medals, respectively. Their performance is surpassed only by those of the 2014 and 2001 teams. “All four students are still eligible to compete in IOI 2017 in Tehran, with possibly even better results,” said Dr. Steven Halim, who coordinates a competitive programming centre here at NUS Computing.
Dr. Steven Halim (far left), with Gan Wei Liang (third from left) and Jonathan Irvin Gunawan (sixth from left) as IOI contestants for Singapore and Indonesia in 2013.
This year, three current NUS Computing students served as coaches for several IOI teams. Computer Science (CS) freshman Gan Wei Liang, a double IOI silver medallist himself, trained the Singapore team with the help of a few seniors and coached the team during the competition. Fourth year CS student Jonathan Irvin Gunawan, who previously won one bronze and one silver medal representing Indonesia at IOI, served as the main coach for the Indonesian team. Wei Liang and Jonathan both competed in IOI 2012 and 2013. Also, Master’s student Payton Robin Yao, who just began the programme in August, was a coach for the Philippines team. With many of the region’s top computing talents joining NUS Computing, Dr. Halim and the school are positive that the competitive programming programme will continue to flourish and our students will continue to perform well in international competitions such as IOI and the International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC).
For Gan Wei Liang’s account of the experience, please visit: http://algorithmics.comp.nus.edu.sg/#ioi
The IOI is one of five international science olympiads. The primary goal of the IOI is to stimulate interest in informatics (computing science) and information technology. Another important goal is to bring together exceptionally talented pupils from various countries and to have them share scientific and cultural experiences.
The IOI is organized annually in and by one of the participating countries. Each participating country typically sends a delegation of four contestants and two accompanying adults. Students compete individually and try to maximize their score by solving a set of informatics problems during two competition days. Cultural and recreational events are organized on the remaining days.
The competition tasks are of algorithmic nature; however, the contestants have to show such basic IT skills as problem analysis, design of algorithms and data structures, programming and testing. The winners of the IOI belong to the best young computer scientists in the world.