Taiwanese students bag 4 medals at informatics Olympiad

Taiwanese students bag 4 medals at informatics Olympiad
From left to right: Chang Chen-kai, Lin Ping-hsuan, Hou Hsin-wei associate professor Wang Hung-lung of National Taiwan Normal University's Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Education

Taiwan’s delegation to the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), an annual computer programming competition for high school students, has won one gold medal and three silver medals.

Hosted for the second year by the National University of Singapore’s School of Computing, the competition ran from June 19-25 and was held virtually for the second time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among Taiwan’s four-person delegation, Lin Ping-hsuan from Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School won the gold medal, with an overall IOI ranking of 27th.

It was Lin’s second time at the annual competition, the last time being in 2020 when he won a bronze medal.

Meanwhile, the silver medals went to Hou Hsin-wei of the Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University, Liu En-yi from National Experimental High School at Hsinchu Science Park and Chang Chen-kai of Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School.

Hou, Liu and Chang, who were all first time competitors at the IOI, ranked 33rd, 38th and 39th, respectively, after the competition.

The delegation members were selected from 4,034 students to represent Taiwan at the IOI 2021.

IOI contestants compete individually over two days, during each of which they are given three programming tasks to complete in under five hours.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Education said the gold medalist will receive NT$200,000 (US$7,156) in prize money, with NT$100,000 and NT$50,000 for silver and bronze.

According to the organizer, high school students from various countries compete in the prestigious algorithmic competition at the IOI to sharpen their informatics skills, such as problem analysis, design of algorithms and data structures, programming, and testing.

The 33rd edition of the informatics Olympiad attracted 351 contestants from 88 countries, during which China won the most gold medals with four, followed by the United States and Russia with three each, while Japan and Singapore secured two.