International Olympiad in Informatics: A quick guide

International Olympiad in Informatics
Here's an interesting way to nurture young talents in computer science and informatics. Source: Romeo Gacad/AFP

The International Olympiad in Informatics is one of several yearly Olympiads for secondary school students. This particular competition brings the brightest young minds together to “sharpen their informatics skills” in a fresh, challenging way. Beyond that, it seeks to identify and nurture future talent in the world of computer science.

If you’re interested to know more, this guide should do the trick.

International Olympiad in Informatics

Challenge your students and children to level up in informatics capabilities and aspirations. Source: Romain Lafabregue/AFP

What is the International Olympiad in Informatics?

Think of it as the highest level of informatics skills training and assessment for school seniors. Students take their classroom learning one step further by analysing problems, designing algorithms and data structures, even programming and testing. It also directly promotes friendly relationships between computer science and informatics educators, as well as future professionals.

Secondary school students from each participating country join the Olympiad in teams of four. They are accompanied by a team leader and a deputy leader. In the competition, each student must solve three algorithmic problems within five hours. They will be vying for personal bests, of course — but their work will also contribute the overall team score, which means they’re competing for the country, too.

Why should students join the International Olympiad in Informatics?

Students who are interested in computer systems and data models stand to benefit the most from the International Olympiad in Informatics. You may have heard of the International Mathematical Olympiad; think of the Informatics Olympiad as the future-focused version for young techies.

Let’s not forget that informatics is a field with great prospects for employment and innovation. Whether its business or healthcare, scientists are developing increasingly impressive applications thanks to computer science. Nurturing this natural interest in school students could help them zero in on their talents — and imagine a career where they channel this knowledge towards progress.

International Olympiad in Informatics

Students sharpen individual informatics skills while attempting to solve problems beyond the classroom. Source: Robyn Beck/AFP

When does it take place?

In 2021, the International Olympiad in Informatics was held virtually from Singapore. A total of 351 students from 88 countries participated. Students from Iran rose to the top of the ranks this year, taking home one gold and three silver medals.

Thinking of getting your child involved next year? Head’s up: the 2022 International Olympiad in Informatics will take place in Indonesia from August 7th to August 14th. Check out the details here.