You are hereTeam Ireland spend an intense week at IOI2012

Team Ireland spend an intense week at IOI2012

By gconway - Posted on 05 October 2012

Set in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Garda in the north of Italy, the International Olympiad in Informatics challenged teams of second-level students (13-18yrs old) from 81 different countries to pitch their programmatic and logic skills against the genius of Italy's Leonardo da Vinci. The 304 contestants had to complete 6 tasks based on da Vinci's scientific observations over a 2 day period.

IOI2012 Practice SessionAfter arriving late on Sunday night to the contest residency at Garda Village in Sirmione, there was no rest for the idle with a practice session at the main competition venue in Montichiari the following morning. One of the practice tasks, 'Italian Queue' turned out to be a very apt theme for the week with Team Ireland re-using that solution's algorithm at many stages over the following six days. But as the session name suggested, this was only a warm up for the real challenge of the six IOI problems on competition days.

IOI2012 St.Marks VeniceThe week wasn't all work with the contestants enjoying the spills and thrills of Gardaland theme park on Wednesday and the cultural and artistic beauty of Venice on Friday. It certainly allowed the left side of the brain some respite, that even Leonardo would have appreciated. The week ended with all the pomp and flair the competition deserved at the lavish closing ceremony in Sirmione, incorporating the medal presentations and the ceremonial handing over of the IOI flag to the IOI2013 hosts, Brisbane Australia.

The headline news of the week was the change of guard at the top of the medal table with the four times top winner, the Belarusian genius, Gennady Korotkevich, losing his place to the new IOI King, Johnny Ho from the USA, who scored a perfect 600 score.  An incredible achievement, certainly a world record in Olympiad terms. Team Ireland were all first time contestants at the IOI, and whilst they didn't make it into the medal categories, they can now can gauge the level of work that goes into achieving medal status. This realisation, along with the experience achieved this year has only spurred them on to getting the head start that's required to medal at a once-in-a lifetime trip to Brisbane, Australia and the IOI2013.