The people who have come to compete at IOI 2016 are unusual programmers capable of thinking outside the box, and the Canadian contingent are no exception. Two of them, Kevin and Jacob, swapped badges and each gave an interview on behalf of each other, with Farbod, Jeffrey and Yikuan joining in the conversation.
- How are you finding the Olympiad?
Jacob: I like the surroundings, and I was also happy that the team took part with me.
- Lots of people are saying that the tasks in previous Olympiads were somewhat easier than at IOI 2016. Do you agree?
Kevin: At the previous Olympiad in Kazakhstan they gave us two chocolates, and we coped easily with the tasks. Here for the first round we got one apple and one chocolate. It was harder to write (laughs).
Jeffrey: We’d have done better if we’d had crisps instead of apples (laughs)
- Why did you decide to get into IT?
Farbod: I started coding when I was about 8.
Kevin: I think it’s all to do with chemicals in the brain – I feel happy when I make something I want happen on the screen.
Jeffrey: I’ve been into programming since 4th grade.
- How does programming help in life?
Jeffrey: It helps me with combinatorics solutions.
Kevin: Programming helps me to travel and come to great events like the IOI.
- Do you have any hobbies away from IT?
Kevin: I like maths and watching anime.
Jacob: I love the game Go, I also like maths and sometimes watch the TV show Mr. Robot, which deals a lot with hacking.
Farbod: I like sports like ping-pong and badminton, and maybe a bit of volleyball.
- What helps you prepare for an Olympiad?
Yikuan: I always eat a Snickers bar before a competition.
Jeffrey: I like to take a cold shower.
- Do you have any mascots or good-luck charms?
Yikuan: A moose – it reminds us of home.
- What did you find most interesting in Kazan?
Kevin: The Kul Sharif Mosque was really impressive – we don’t have anything like that in Canada.
Farbod and Jeffrey: We like the view of the Kazanka river from the waterfront.
- Is there any aspect of Tatar or Russian culture that you’d like to take back to Canada with you?
Farbod: A matrioshka.
Jacob: I wish that people in Canada were as friendly as they are here.
- Did you like the opening ceremony?
Jeffrey: Yes – a lot. I particularly enjoyed the kalinka song.
- What were your impressions of the organisation at IOI 2016?
Kevin: We’re happy we’re staying at the Universiade Village. Kazan University organised the Olympiad really well – the opening ceremony was spectacular and the work has been faultless.