Australian Maths Trust

Contest day 1: Non-pizza lunch in pizza boxes

While the IOI team is busy during the week of the IOI, this series of blogs is being written by team leader, Joshua Lau.

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. This means that results are always known, with two decimal places of precision! As you can imagine, the 5 hours (which is sometimes extended, if technical difficulties arise) is a nervous affair: not just for team leaders on the ground, but for all involved – friends and family, teachers, and AMT staff, who all deserve many thanks, having been instrumental and essential in getting our students this far!

Timmy was first out of the blocks, with a quick 100 on the “Shoes” problem (read it here). The others overcame a slow start, and as they had practised time and time again during last week’s training camp, successfully scored points on every problem by solving subtasks. As a result, all four students have performed reasonably well, and have every chance of earning a medal after the second day. In particular, Angus (=28th) is in a large 30-or-so-way tie straddling the nominal Day 1 Gold cutoff, with Timmy slightly above the Silver cutoff, Ryan above the Bronze cutoff, and Tunan not far behind the Bronze cutoff. The Bronze medal range is a mere 40 points, meaning anything can happen on Day 2!

Following a non-pizza lunch served in pizza boxes, the students returned with leaders to their workstations for a brief (optional) analysis session to verify their provisional results against the secret test data, provided for the analysis session only, after which everyone returned to their accommodation for some much needed rest and recovery!