Cork student wins medal at ‘Olympics of programming’

Cork student wins medal at ‘Olympics of programming’

The Irish team who competed in the International Olympiad in Informatics: (Back row) Andrew Nash, Oisin Davey, Professor Cormac Sreenan, Dr Sabin Tabirca and Yanlin Mi and (front row) Benjamin Murray, Ayushi Mahajan and Suneet Mahajan. Picture: Gerard McCarthy

CORK student Suneet Mahajan has captured a silver medal at the International Olympiad in Informatic (IOI).

Suneet Mahajan, from Douglas Community School, secured silver and Oisin Davey, Summer Hill College, Sligo, won a bronze medal at the competition which is globally renowned as the Olympics of Programming.

Competitors from approximately 80 countries take part and must demonstrate exceptionally high skills in areas such as problem analysis, design of algorithms and data structures, programming, and testing.

Silver medal winner, Suneet, said: “I’m personally thrilled with my result at the International Olympiad in Informatics. Last year, I ended up just shy of the bronze medal cut-off, so I was determined to build on that experience and to not go home empty-handed this time around. Competing at AIPO and IOI has allowed me to discover topics in mathematics and computer science that would’ve been completely alien to me otherwise. 

"I’m really grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given to learn and polish my skills through these competitions.”

The team was trained and mentored by a team from the School of Computer Science and Information Technology, at University College Cork, led by Dr Sabin Tabirca.

The team leaders included Bogdan Marcu, PhD student, and Colm Hickey, BSc Computer Science graduate 2019 who currently works in Google.

Hard work key to team's success 

Commenting on the success, Professor Cormac Sreenan, UCC’s Head of Computer Science, said that the hard work of the team, trainers, and organiser Dr Tabirca was the critical component in the impressive result, which bodes really well for the next generation of computer science students.

Professor John O’Halloran, Interim President UCC, said: “On behalf of the entire University I wish to offer congratulations to the successful competitors and Dr Tabirca on their medal victories.

“As the Olympics of Programming, the International Olympiad in Informatics sets the global standard, and it is a testament to the calibre of teaching in UCC’s School of Computer Science and Information Technology that young people under our guidance should stand out in such a competitive field.

“Dr Tabirca has made a lifetime commitment to supporting students and we are grateful for his commitment and leadership at this global programming event.”

Dr Tabirca also led a team that performed very well in the 1st European Girls’ Olympiad in Informatics, which took place in June. The team of Ayushi Mahajan (Cork), Katerin Birk (Bandon) and Abby Luna Garvey (Limerick), were headed up by team leader Andrew Nash.

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