the 18th NOI
National Olympiad in Informatics
7 March 2015, School of Computing, National University of Singapore
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18th NOI
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About IOI
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About IOI

Our Participation in Past IOIs
Background Information
In the Local Scene
Training
Update (1997)

Our Participation in Past IOIs
1992 Team Leader Mr Tan Tuck Choy, Aaron (DISCS, NUS)
Deputy Leader Mrs Cheng Huey Teng (CDIS, MOE)
Contestants Leok Boon Tiong, Melvin (Raffles JC) Bronze
Lim Yuen Chen, Johnny (Victoria JC)  
Tan Kong Hwee, Brian (Hwa Chong JC)  
Yee Yangli, Hector (Victoria JC)  
Achievement 1 bronze medal.

1993 Team Leader Mr Tan Tuck Choy, Aaron (DISCS, NUS)
Deputy Leader Mr Chia Keng Hian (Senior Teacher, Hwa Chong JC)
Contestants Chai Kian Ming (Hwa Chong JC) Silver
Koh Beng Liang (Raffles JC) Silver
Loong Chee-Yuh (Hwa Chong JC)  
Ong Hong Yang (National JC) Bronze
Achievement 2 silver and 1 bronze medals.

1994 Team Leader Mr Tan Tuck Choy, Aaron (DISCS, NUS)
Deputy Leader Mr Chong Pin Pir (Senior Teacher, Anglo-Chinese JC)
Contestants Chai Kian Ming (Hwa Chong JC) Bronze
Goh Hock Meng, Benety (Raffles JC) Bronze
Koh Beng Liang (Raffles JC) Silver
Yeo Chuo Hao (Raffles Institution)  
Achievement 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.

1995 Team Leader Dr Leong Hon Wai (DISCS, NUS)
Deputy Leader Mr Fong Ho Onn (Senior Teacher, National JC)
Contestants Chia Tee Kiah (Raffles JC) Bronze
Kang Chun Siong (Hwa Chong JC) Bronze
Lin Wenbang (Raffles JC)  
Loh Shanming (Raffles JC) Silver
Achievement 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.

1996 Team Leader Mr Lee Sin Yeung, Joseph (DISCS, NUS)
Deputy Leader Mr Tan Edward (Senior Teacher, Temasek JC)
Contestants Chia Peir Wei (Hwa Chong JC)  
Kang Chun Siong (Hwa Chong JC) Gold
Wong Lijie (Raffles JC) Bronze
Yeo Chuo Hao (Raffles JC)  
Achievement 1 gold and 1 bronze medals.

1997 Team Leader Mr Tan Tuck Choy, Aaron (DISCS, NUS)
Deputy Leader Mr Chia Keng Hian (Senior Teacher, Hwa Chong JC)
Contestants Chan Chee Jin, Steven (Raffles JC) Bronze
Lim Hong Ping (The Chinese High School) Bronze
Teng Junbin (Raffles Institution) Bronze
Wong Lijie (Raffles JC) Silver
Achievement 1 silver and 3 bronze medals.
[ Medallists list | Ranking ]

1998 Team Leader Dr Leong Hon Wai (SoC, NUS)
Deputy Leader Mr Tham Siew Thong (Senior Teacher, Raffles JC)
Contestants Chan Sin Huan (Raffles Institution) Bronze
Chiu Jiawei (The Chinese High School)  
Leong Derek (Raffles JC)  
Tan Chun Kiat (Raffles JC) Bronze
Achievement 2 bronze medals.

1999 Team Leader Dr Lim Leong Chye, Andrew (SoC, NUS)
Deputy Leader Dr Mooi Lee Choo (CPDD, MOE)
Contestants Lim Chen Hao, Kelvin (Anglo-Chinese JC) Silver
Lim Hong Ping (Hwa Chong JC) Silver
Tay Kah Keng (Raffles Institution) Silver
Yuen Siu Hong (Hwa Chong JC)  
Achievement 3 silver medals.
[ Medallists list ]

2000 Team Leader Dr Lim Leong Chye, Andrew (SoC, NUS)
Deputy Leader Ms Goh Keng Wah (Senior Teacher, Hwa Chong JC)
Contestants Foo Chuan Sheng (Raffles Institution)  
Moh Heng Ping, Nabil Christopher (Raffles Institution) Bronze
Tay Kah Keng (Raffles JC) Silver
Tay Kah Seng (Raffles JC) Silver
Achievement 2 silver and 1 bronze medals.
[ IOI2000 Final Results ]

2001 Team Leader Dr Lim Leong Chye, Andrew (SoC, NUS)
Deputy Leader Mr Gi Soong Chee (HOD IT, Victoria JC)
Contestants Chiu Jiawei (Hwa Chong JC) Silver
Moh Heng Ping, Nabil Christopher (Raffles JC) Gold
Tay Kah Keng (Raffles JC) Gold
Tay Kah Seng (Raffles JC) Silver
Achievement 2 gold and 2 silver medals. Singapore emerged top alongside Slovakia! Congratulations to the team!

2002 Team Leader Dr Tan Sun Teck (SoC, NUS)
Deputy Leader Mr Fong Ho Onn (HoD, National JC)
Contestants Liang Jun Jie (Raffles Institution)  
Moh Heng Ping, Nabil Christopher (Raffles JC) Silver
Ngiam Jiquan (Hwa Chong JC) Silver
Tan Kee Tee, Lawrence (Raffles JC)  
Achievement 2 silver medals.

2003 Team Leader Dr Tan Sun Teck (SoC, NUS)
Deputy Leader Dr Fong Kwok Kwong (HOD, Pioneer JC)
Contestants Chia Jin Hao, Daniel (RI)  
Liang Jun Jie (Raffles Institution) Bronze
Mak Mun Thye (Victoria JC)  
Tan Kee Tee, Lawrence (Raffles JC)  
Achievement 1 bronze medal.

2004 Team Leader Dr Tan Sun Teck (SoC, NUS)
Deputy Leader Mr Chia Keng Hian (Hwa Chong JC)
Contestants Chia Jin Hao, Daniel (RI) Gold
Liang Jun Jie (Raffles JC)  
Sim Yan Chuan (Hwa Chong JC)  
Tam Wai Lun (Hwa Chong JC) Bronze
Achievement 1 gold and 1 bronze medals.

2005 Team Leader Dr Mooi Lee Choo (MOE, CPDD Sciences Branch)
Deputy Leader Mr Gi Soong Chee (Victoria JC)
Contestants Foo Chuan Yu (Hwa Chong Institution) Bronze
Koh Pang Wei (Raffles JC)  
Koh Zi Chun (Hwa Chong Institution)  
Lim Zhuo Min (Hwa Chong Institution)  
Achievement 1 bronze medal.

2006 Team Leader Dr Tan Sun Teck (SoC, NUS)
Deputy Leader Mr Koh Kim Tian (Hwa Chong Institution)
Contestants Koh Pang Wei (Raffles JC) Bronze
Koh Zi Chun (Hwa Chong Institution) Bronze
Lim Wei Quan (Hwa Chong Institution)  
Lim Zhuo Min (Hwa Chong Institution)  
Achievement 2 bronze medals.

2007 Team Leader Mr Joseph Tan (Jurong JC)
Deputy Leader Mr Zhang Zhiyong, Melvin (SoC, NUS)
Contestants Chiam Jia-Han (Raffles Institution) Bronze
Koh Zi Chun (Hwa Chong Institution)  
Lim Wei Quan (Hwa Chong Institution) Bronze
Foo Chuan Yu (Hwa Chong Institution) Silver
Achievement 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.

2008 Team Leader Mr Ho Wai Kin (Yishun JC)
Deputy Leader Mr Zhang Zhiyong, Melvin (SoC, NUS)
Contestants Chiam Jia-Han (Raffles Junior College) Bronze
Chin Zhan Xiong (Raffles Institution) Bronze
Lim Wei Quan (Hwa Chong Institution) Silver
Lim Wei Zhong (Hwa Chong Institution) Bronze
Achievement 1 silver and 3 bronze medals.

2009
Team Leader Wang Li Ling (Raffles Institution, Teacher)
Deputy Leader Dr Mooi Lee Choo (MOE, CPDD)
Contestants Chiam Jia-Han (Raffles Junior College) Silver
Chin Zhan Xiong (Raffles Institution) Silver
Kang Seng Ing Raymond (Raffles Institution) Bronze
Lim Wei Zhong (Hwa Chong Institution) Bronze
Achievement 2 silver and 2 bronze medals.

2010 Team Leader A/P Roland Yap Hock Chuan (NUS SoC)
Deputy Leader Mr Cheong Hock Soan (MOE)
Coach Dr Steven Halim (NUS SoC)
Contestants Raymond Kang Seng Ing (Raffles Institution (JC)) Gold
Chin Zhan Xiong (Raffles Institution (JC)) Silver
Shen Chuanqi (Raffles Institution (JC)) Bronze
Wong Lin Kit, Daniel (Hwa Chong Institution (JC)) Bronze
Achievement 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.

2011 Team Leader Dr Steven Halim (NUS SoC)
Deputy Leader Mr Cheong Hock Soan (MOE)
Coach Mr Koh Zi Chun (NUS SoC)
Contestants Raymond Kang Seng Ing (Raffles Institution (JC)) Gold
Chin Zhan Xiong (Raffles Institution (JC)) Silver
Shen Chuanqi (Raffles Institution (JC)) Bronze
Hubert Teo Hua Kian (Raffles Institution (JC)) Bronze
Achievement 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.

2012 Team Leader Dr Steven Halim (NUS SoC)
Deputy Leader Mr Teo Jui Sing (MOE)
Coach Mr Koh Zi Chun (NUS SoC)
Contestants Gan Wei Liang (Hwa Chong Institution (JC)) Silver
Ranald Lam Yun Shao (Raffles Institution (Sec)) Bronze
Hubert Teo Hua Kian (Raffles Institution (JC)) Silver
Bernard Teo Zhi Yi (Hwa Chong Institution (Sec))  
Achievement 2 silver and 1 bronze medals.

2013 Team Leader Dr Steven Halim (NUS SoC)
Deputy Leader Mr Goh Ching Tard (MOE)
Contestants William Gan Wei Liang (Hwa Chong Institution (JC)) Silver
Ranald Lam Yun Shao (Raffles Institution (JC)) Silver
Mark Theng Kwang Hui (Hwa Chong Institution (JC)) Silver
Bernard Teo Zhi Yi (Hwa Chong Institution (JC)) Bronze
Achievement 3 silver and 1 bronze medals.

2014 Team Leader A/P Tan Sun Teck (NUS SoC)
Deputy Leader Ms Goh Keng Wah (Hwa Chong Institution)
Contestants Feng Jiahai (Raffles Institution (Sec)) Gold
Mark Theng Kwang Hui (Hwa Chong Institution (JC)) Silver
Ranald Lam Yun Shao (Raffles Institution (JC)) Gold
Wu Xinyu (Ms) (Raffles Institution (JC))  
 
Total medal tally: 8 gold, 26 silver, 31 bronze.


Go to top of page Background Information
The International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) first started in 1989, sponsored by UNESCO, adding on yet another scientific discipline to the list of olympiads (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc) aimed to bring young science students from all over the world together primarily to raise the level of awareness and proficiency of the discipline and at the same time, to promote international friendship through interactions and exposure to culture of other nations.

After the second IOI in Minsk, an international committee was set up to secure funds and to finalise IOI working procedures and regulations to ensure the continuity of the Informatics' Olympiad. (However, it seems that while the procedures are more or less fixed, the rules are subjected to changes every year.)

The competition consists of 2 rounds over 2 days, each round requiring the contestants, working individually, to solve three problems (mainly algorithmic in nature) within 5 hours. The delivery consists of stand-alone executables compiled in any of the officially approved programming languages, which are currently (as at 1999) Turbo Pascal Version 7.0, and Turbo C++ version 3.0.

Each nation is permitted to send at most 4 contestants. Contestants must be schooling students not above 19 years old. Starting from the 6th IOI, printed materials are no longer allowed to be brought into the competition rooms.

The following shows the chronological list of past and future IOI events:

Organising Country Date #Nations
(#Observing)
1st Pravetz, Bulgaria 16-19 May 1989 13
2nd Minsk, Byellorussian Republic 15-21 Jul 1990 25
3rd Athens, Greece 19-25 May 1991 26(4)
4th Bonn, Germany 11-21 Jul 1992 51
5th Mendoza, Argentina 16-25 Oct 1993 47(1)
6th Haninge, Sweden 3-10 Jul 1994 50?
7th Eindhoven, The Netherlands 26 Jun - 3 Jul 1995 53
8th Veszprem, Hungary 25 Jul - 2 Aug 1996 57
9th Cape Town, South Africa 30 Nov - 7 Dec 1997 61
10th Setúbal, Portugal 5 - 12 Sep 1998 65
11th Antalya-Belek, Turkey 9 - 16 Oct 1999 65
12th Beijing, China 23 - 30 Sep 2000 72
13th Finland 14 - 21 Jul 2001 74
14th Yong-In, Korean Republic 18 - 25 Aug 2002 78
15th Wisconsin, USA 16 - 23 Aug 2003 69
16th Athens, Greece 11 - 18 Sep 2004
17th Nowy Sacz, Poland 18 - 25 Aug 2005 72
18th Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 13 - 20 Aug 2006 74
19th Zagreb, Croatia 15 - 22 Aug 2007 78
20th Egypt 16 - 23 Aug 2008 77
21st Plovdiv, Bulgaria 8 - 15 Aug 2009
22nd Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 14 - 21 Aug 2010
23rd Pattaya City, Thailand 22 - 29 July, 2011
24th Sirmione - Montichiari, Italy 23 - 30 Sep, 2012
25th Brisbane, Australia 6 - 13 July, 2013
26th Taipei, Taiwan 13 - 20 July, 2014

Go to top of page In the Local Scene
The Ministry of Education (MOE), through Mrs Cheng Huey Teng of the Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore (CDIS), contacted our department, specifically, Dr Leong Hon Wai, some time in March 1992 requesting the department to assist in the training of students for the Olympiad. Other departments in the Science Faculty, namely Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, have been known to be involved in running the training programmes for their respective Olympiads, the one in Mathematics department being the most extensive.

With the short notice, a quick programme was drafted and carried out with the coordination of Dr Leong and the training was shared by a few people including the coordinator himself, Mr James Lee and Mr Aaron Tan, with Dr Jong Hee-sen offering his assistance in administrative matters.

Six students were selected from the various junior colleges and handed down to us to undergo training and final selection, conducted by Dr Leong and Mr Aaron Tan. Four students were eventually selected, and one of them secured a bronze medal for our nation, which is quite an encouraging sign considering the hasty programme we put them through.

Singapore's First IOI Delegation Singapore's First Involvement in IOI.
Trainers and trainees for the IOI'92, accompanied by CDIS (Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore) staff.

In 1993, Dr Chionh Eng Wee and Dr Tony Dekker joined Dr Leong and Mr Aaron Tan in the training programme. We achieved better result that year, taking home two silver medals and one bronze medal.

In 1994, Prof Jeff Rohl joined us in the training, and Prof Rohl, together with Dr Chionh and Dr Lucas Hui, also volunteered to set questions for the selection test. We brought home one silver and two bronze medals that year.

In 1995, as the other lecturers were heavily involved in other committments, Dr Leong and Mr Aaron Tan were the main trainers. The students got back the same result as the year before, with one silver and two bronze medals.

In 1996, we had Mr Joseph Lee helping in most parts of the training as well as the questions for selection test. Mr Hoe Kai Yee from CDIS, MOE, took over Mrs Cheng. The team brought back one gold medal (the first gold we secured) and one bronze medal.

In 1997 and 1998, a few colleagues: Dr Chin Wei Ngan, Dr Philip Long, Dr Martin Henz, and later, Dr Andrew Lim, assisted in the training programme. The 1997 team were awarded with 1 silver and 3 bronze medals, while the 1998 team managed 2 bronze medals. Meanwhile, Miss Chee Sok Cheng of CPDD took over Mr Hoe Kai Yee.

Also, in 1998, we started the National Olympiad in Informatics (NOI), to draw more talents from the junior colleges and secondary schools.

In 1999, Dr Andrew Lim conducted the training programme for the selected IOI participants, along-side training the ACM team. That year, the IOI team brought back 3 silver medals. Dr Mooi Lee Choo from CPDD took over Miss Chee Sok Cheng.

Go to top of page Training
With hindsight and the experience gained from the past few years of participation in the Olympiad, we adopted a more-or-less stable and well-organised training programme. Minor adjustments and refinement may be necessary in future, but we feel that the framework which we have laid down would remain much the same for the next few years.

During the pre-NOI days, the training consists of 3 phases:

Phase 1: Drilling on programming skills
We sought the involvement of junior college teachers to conduct programming courses for the students who were short-listed for the training programme. These students came from junior colleges as well as secondary schools. CDIS and the teachers in-charge would take care of this part of the training. Each year, a Junior College teacher took charge of the programming course, and he or she became the deputy team leader, who together, with the team leader, will accompany the 4 students to the competition. DISCS was not involved during this phase.

Phase 2: Training on problem solving techniques
This phase consists mainly of lectures and assignments on topics ranging from advanced data structures (basic data structures are assumed to have been covered in Phase 1, at most a quick revision suffices), graph algorithms, and paradigms in problem solving (such as greedy method, divide-and-conquer method, backtracking method, dynamic programming, etc.). For the first few years, about 10 to 12 two-hour weekly sessions were spent on this phase, commencing from late March during the university vacation. A list of the topics which were covered in the earlier years is shown below for record purposes. However, as we gained more experience, we have cut down or even omitted some of the topics and in their place were more exercises and practical sessions.
  1. Basic data structures (quick revision): arrays, stacks, queues, linked-lists, trees
  2. Searching and Sorting
  3. Trees and AVL Trees
  4. Heaps and Heap Sort
  5. Introduction to Asymptotic Analysis and notations
  6. Graphs: Definitions, representation, traversal
  7. Graphs: Connectivity, Euler paths, topological sort
  8. Graphs: Shortest paths, minimum spanning trees
  9. Algorithmic Paradigms: Introduction, recursion
  10. Algorithmic Paradigms: Divide-and-conquer
  11. Algorithmic Paradigms: Greedy Method
  12. Algorithmic Paradigms: Backtracking
  13. Algorithmic Paradigms: Dynamic Programming
  14. Algorithmic Paradigms: Approximation Algorithms
  15. Other topics, eg: Number Theory, String Matching
A mock competition was conducted at the end of the phase to select 4 candidates for the competition and one or two others as reserved.

Phase 3: Exercises on past questions & More advanced topics
This last phase of the programme aims to boost confidence and readiness in the students for the actual competition. Each student was given a list of problems whereby they were to solve and present their solutions for discussion. Apart from this, topics not covered in phase 2 were introduced to further prepare and equip the students. We had about 10 such sessions, usually held twice a week over their school vacation.

With the introduction of NOI, top winners of NOI are selected to undergo a training which emphasises more on Phase 3 with a lot of practical sessions. They are also required to go through the Competitive Programming module offered by the School of Computing.

Go to top of page Update (1997)
As a form of recognition, the Ministry of Education now offers medallists of international science olympiads direct admission to science and engineering courses at the two universities. (Refer to the editorial A deserved privilege, The Sunday Times, January 12 1997.)

To reach out to more students, starting from 1998, the National Olympiad in Informatics (NOI) invites all junior colleges and secondary school students to pit their programming skills in an IOI-style contest, from which the top scorers will make their entry to the international event.

Starting year 2000, MOE will also organize an annual zonal competition for the secondary schools as a prelude to the NOI. We hope that this will create more interest among the teachers and students, and that it will open up more opportunities for the junior students to pave their way towards their ultimate goal.

Last updated: 19 July 2014.