During the 5-hour long layover in Doha, Kevin made many of our past AIIO sets public, and the team quickly pulled out their trusty laptops, and began racing each other to solve these problems as quickly as possible.
We woke up to some drama and another nervous wait this morning… Much to our relief, though more points were awarded, the medal cutoffs, were confirmed as not having changed, so it was official – Australia has won a Gold, a Silver, and two Bronze medals at this year’s IOI!
With the competition done and dusted, today was the second full excursion day of this IOI. Off to a late start – due to the weather (though I reckon everyone could have done with it anyway), the leaders visited a 12th century historic village (called Qala). This village was an archaeological site, with many ancient relics, and reconstructions of historic houses.
I am writing this completely overjoyed by the performance of our IOI team for this year! Based on provisional results (subject to changes resulting from appeals, though these are usually few), Angus has won a Gold medal, Timmy a Silver medal, and Ryan and Tunan Bronze medals, placing 9th, 80th, 99th, and 150th at the IOI!
It was fascinating to see exhibitions of how traditional Azerbaijani carpets have been hand-woven throughout the centuries: our guide insisted that no authentic Azerbaijani carpet is ever woven by machine. In particular, we were told that an experienced craftsperson can only weave 5cm of length of these carpets in a single day!
The first competition day was the main event of today, which was particularly exciting, as it marked the first time Ryan, Timmy and Tunan sat an IOI exam. One of the things that sets the IOI apart from other olympiads is the existence of a live scoreboard, which is updated in real-time during the competition…
Students tested mundane things such as the support for C++ language features and feedback given by the system, to the more practical, such as timing how long it takes to receive a printout, how long it takes to be escorted to / from the bathroom, and evaluating the tastiness of the snacks that can be ordered through the competition system.
Today marks the official arrivals day for the IOI! Kevin, Donna and I spent a rather eventful morning looking for SIM cards for our phones, while students met and bonded with members of the Croatian team over Uno.
Fidan led us through the Baku Metro, and along a tour of Icherisheher (the old city centre), where we went up the 12th century Maiden Tower and saw an excellent view of Baku.
The wait at the airport saw the team attempting to maximise the volume of water collected from the faulty tap near gate 10. We also enjoyed Kevin’s amazing commentary on touchscreen air hockey played by two toddlers. It was a true shame that I forgot to take a video of that despite being the keeper of the GoPro.
Today is my last full day with the IOI team, and what a week it has been. Following a five hour exam where I saw my first splash of the elusive CMS green colour (indicating that we had gotten a full score of 100 on a problem), we went to a nice Cuban cafe where we were joined by Ray Li, who came to pass along some words of wisdom regarding how to handle big exams.
Getting subtasks was a focus for the whole team, with the risk of push-ups if we missed points we should have gotten. Fortunately, everyone was able to score a good amount of points on all the problems and we were spared from having to do push-ups.
Tonight’s game was based off of the first question of today’s exam — given a rectangular grid of squares coloured either black or cyan, find an arrangement using the least number of non-overlapping rectangles which covers all cyan squares and doesn’t cover any black squares.
CEOI day 2 was the trial exam for today. The problems were interesting and more difficult than those in the previous trial exams. After the trial exam we, had our customary frisbee session. This time, we had a person in the middle of the cycle / circle trying to fail the others and replace them.
Today was the rest day between the two CEOI days, our rest being a different 5-hour exam… After the exam, we decided to play a bipartite graph version of frisbee, before switching to the even easier cycle graph version, a phenomena Kevin likened to solving subtasks.