28th International Olympiad in Informatics

Friday, August 12 - Friday, August 19, 2016

17 August 2016
South Africa: IT helps in life

Contest round 1 was finished, and so the organisers took participants on a tour of Kazan. There was much to do on am emotional day. A bit tired after their excursion, South Africa’s Mohammed, Laurens, Bronson and Ulrik nevertheless were delighted to share their thoughts on the first days at the Olympiad.

-How are you feeling after the first round?

Laurens: It was harder than we expected.

Ulrik: I’m a little disappointed – I didn’t do as well as I thought I would.

-Have you been to any other major international competitions before?

Bronson: Yes – two of us have taken part in Olympiads before and won prizes.

-Where the previous Olympiads as difficult?

Ulrik: No – the first round of the Kazan Olympiad was hard enough for us.

-What are you looking for from this Olympiad?

Bronson: We want to manage to do everything. That is – we want to seriously compete for medals and also get to know new people and a new culture.

-Do you find IT helps you in everyday life?

Ulrik: I’m planning to work in IT, and I think what I’m doing now will help me in the future.

Laurens: IT helps me with robotics projects.

Mohammed: IT helps a lot in life. I write programs to make my life easier. But in actual fact writing them takes time and effort, so on balance it’s a zero sum game.

-Could you give some examples of how it makes life easier?

Ulrik: Recently I created a program to save time spent working and increase productivity. A compromise between work and time of sorts.

Mohammed: I wrote a program to download all the files I need in one bundle, so I don’t have to click dozens of times.

Laurens: I make robots work for themselves; if they suddenly don’t listen to me then I need to update them.

-Do you have any hobbies outside of IT?

Mohammed: I also really like maths, but that’s also connected with IT (laughs).

Laurens: I like robotics, but that’s also IT.

Ulrik: I also like maths, but I’m not as good as Mohammed. I also do physics to olympiad level.

What do you make of the Universiade Village?

Bronson: Our first impressions were overwhelmingly positive. We feel like VIPs here, and we all like that.

-What can you say about Russian and Tatar culture?

Mohammed: It was great to relax after the first contest round and get to know Russia. The connection between Russian and Tatar culture is incredible – for over a thousand years Kazan as been the centre of many diverse events, and each has left its mark on the city’s architecture.

-Which words have you learned, now you’re here?

Ulrik: Privet!

Mohammed: Kak dela?

-One of the IOI organisers is KFU – in fact we’re on its grounds right now. What do you think of it?

Laurens: It’s one of the nicest universities I’ve ever been to.

Ulrik: The accommodation here is a bit nicer to ones in previous olympiads.

Mohammed: The Universiade Village is a wonderful campus – such well-equipped places for students to stay is a great step forward for education.



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