PH student Robin Christopher Yu from Xavier School won a bronze medal at the 27th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), held last July 26 – August 2, 2015 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The International Olympiad in Informatics is a competitive programming competition for secondary school students deemed the most prestigious computer science competition in the world. Hosting more than 80 countries a year, the annual IOI is considered the second biggest of the International Science Olympiads. The two-day event involves series of contests on computer programming competed by students on an individual basis. Scores from the contests are summed up individually for each participant and they are awarded medals based on their relative total score. This year’s IOI saw a total of 322 participants from 83 countries.

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Yu was among those who received bronze medals in Almaty. His performance on the six contest tasks – boxes with souvenirs, scales, teams, horses, sorting, and towns, received a total score of 199.55, thereby earning him bronze honors and the country’s first medal from the competition.

“The IOI was a very important event for me. I spent a significant amount of my time studying algorithms and data structures in order to prepare for the contest. It was an honor to be among the cream of the crop, the best of every country. I was happy to be able to represent my country in an international event,” said bronze medalist Robin Yu.

Yu added he was not expecting to win anything as he lacked experience compared to his competitors; he had only been introduced to informatics about a year ago, while most of the contestants from other countries have been training since grade school, “I just tried my best as I was representing the country. I’m very happy that I was able to bring pride to my country. It was definitely a great experience, and I hope to do well and perform better in next year’s IOI.”

“This is the first time for the Philippines to compete in the IOI and we’re really proud of what Robin and the team achieved this year. To even score at the IOI is a huge feat in itself as some countries don’t score at all in their first participation,” said Martin Gomez, Philippine team leader. In 2014, the country joined the IOI as an observer. “We made it a priority to send a full delegation to and compete at the IOI this year to enable Filipino students to be recognized on the world stage,” added Gomez.

Yu is part of the Philippine contingent whose participation to the IOI was endorsed by the DOST-ICT Office. Other members of the team are Aldrich Ellis Asuncion (Ateneo de Manila High School), Ian Vincent Palabasan (Rizal National Science High School), and Matthew Ryan Tan (Xavier School). The four were chosen through the National Olympiad in Informatics, the country’s official IOI qualifier, funded and also endorsed by the ICT Office.

“This is a step forward for our local ICT scene. We see the value of joining competitions like these for they allow our students to showcase their ICT skills in the international stage while also gearing our country for global competitiveness in the field. We are truly proud of this achievement; rest assured that we would continue supporting this endeavor,” said Usec. Louis Napoleon Casambre, Executive Director of the DOST-ICT Office.

“We in the ICT Office put emphasis into developing the students’ excellence in computer programming as this is instrumental in the continuous invigoration of our local startup ecosystem and the country’s path towards being a global startup hub,” added ICT Office Deputy Executive Director Monchito Ibrahim.

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Under its seedPH program, the DOST Information and Communications Technology Office has been providing steadfast support to the National Olympiad in Informatics – Philippines for the past two years, funding the conduct of the competition in 2014 and 2015. Last May 2015, the ICT Office co-hosted the NOI.PH national finals and assisted in the selection of the country’s delegation to the IOI. NOI.PH serves as a venue for our youth to develop their computer programming skills which they may utilize in any field, especially if they become ICT professionals in the future.

seedPH is one of the initiatives under the ICT Office’s innovation program, digitalPH.

Oriented towards the development and advancement of the country’s digital startup ecosystem, key projects under seedPH include Startup Weekends, Startup Workshops, Philippine Roadmap for Digital Startups, and the annual Philippine Startup Challenge. seedpH aims to have produced at least 50 local startups, each generating at least P10 million, by 2016.

 

For more information on seedPH and digitalPH, follow us on Facebook (fb.com/digitalPH2015) and at @digitalPH2015.

 More information about NOI.PH and the IOI may be found the NOI.PH Facebook page at http://facebook.com/noi.philippines

 Full results of the 27th International Olympiad in Informatics may be accessed here: http://stats.ioinformatics.org/results/2015.