Two South African students won medals at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) held in Zagreb, Croatia. The two are part of a team of four that was selected from 33 000 participants in last year’s Standard Bank Computer Olympiad.
The IOI is an annual competition for young computer programmers, held in a different country every year. This year, 282 participants from 73 countries took part in a competition that took place over two days.
On each of the competition days, the participants receive three problems, which they have five hours to solve by writing programs. After five hours the evaluators use data sets of increasing complexity to check if the program can provide the correct answers in the allocated time – often less than half a second.
The two South African medal winners are Ralf Kistner and Dirk Coetzee, both currently in first year at the University of Stellenbosch, although they won their places as schoolboys last year.
The other two team members were Charles Bradshaw from Rondebosch Boys’ High and Mark Danoher from Pearson High in Port Elizabeth.