The top 60 schools that participated in the programming round of the Standard Bank/Computer Society of South Africa (CSSA) Computer Olympiad have been named, along with the names of 17 learners who have been invited to take part in the final round of the competition.
A total of 31 591 students from 459 schools entered for the first round of the Computer Olympiad in April. Of these, 2 969 students from 187 schools were chosen by their schools to participate in the second round, with the top 17 students taking part in the final round taking place on 3 and 4 September at the University of Cape Town.
Peter Waker, manager of the Standard Bank/CSSA Computer Olympiad, comments: “More and more schools are using the first round of the Computer Olympiad as an aptitude test to see if learners should consider a career in IT. It is encouraging to see the number of first round entries every year, although it seems to contradict the trend at university level; where there are fewer students interested in ICT.”
A great attraction for entering the Olympiad is the additional R100 000 in prize money made available by Mark Shuttleworth for participants using Python. Python is the Open Source programming language used by Mark to write the computer software that made him a billionaire. Unlike commercial programming languages, Python is available free of charge.
Keegan Carruthers-Smith, a leading member of the Scientific Committee which sets the Olympiad questions, adds: “Although there was a good spread among the top participants, the final round is always hotly contested and often presents us with surprising results.”
Three girls have been invited to the final round for 2011. They are Kira Düsterwald of Springfield Conven; Dineo Sathekge of CBC Mount Edmund, and Ann Wait of Nico Malan High.
They are joined by Stephen Barnes of Pearson High; Mose Kwon, Bertus Malan and Grant Zietsman of Pretoria Boys Hight; Dylan Nelson of Benoni High; Dalian Sunder of Star College; Christiaan Kruger of Duinveld High; Yaseen Handulay of Wynberg Boys’ High; Ashraf Moolla of Rondebosch Boys’ High; Christiaan Muller of Paul Roos Gymnasium; Vaughan Newton and Guy Paterson-Jones of Bishops; and Robert Spenser and Sean Wentzel of Westerford High.