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?
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.