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Australian Maths Trust

Australian team to compete in the European Girls’ Olympiad in Informatics for the first time

Australia’s first team for the European Girls’ Olympiad in Informatics (EGOI) has been announced, with four female high school students heading to the Netherlands to compete from 21-27 July 2024.

EGOI, a competitive computer programming contest, has been the premier opportunity for young women to test their skills and knowledge since its launch in 2021. This year’s Olympiad will see over one hundred and eighty young women compete to solve complex problem-solving tasks to foster their technical skills, critical thinking and creativity.

“Numbers of young women engaging in computer science in Australia and internationally remain very low compared to many other sciences. We at the Australian Maths Trust are committed to addressing this issue through creating opportunities for young women to engage with maths and computer science, and our inaugural EGOI initiative represents our next step in this area. Our team members are not only phenomenal problem solvers, but young leaders forging the way for future generations of young women. We are very proud of their hard work and wish them all the best at the competition,” said Nathan Ford, CEO of the Australian Maths Trust (AMT), which selected and mentored the 2024 Australian EGOI team through its informatics program.

The Australian EGOI team was announced in a virtual announcement on Monday 25 March 2024. The four talented young women representing Australia for the first time include Honey Raut in Year 12 at University High School in Victoria, Christina Chen in Year 11 at Korowa Anglican Girls’ School in Victoria, Ayana Fridkin in Year 9 at Caulfield Grammer School in Victoria, and Alexa Wu in Year 8 at Pymble Ladies’ College in New South Wales.

This year’s EGOI Australian team will be led by University of New South Wales computer science student, Paula Tennent. “My goal for the trip is for the girls to enjoy their time and meet other girls and women in computing to encourage them to stay in the field. Hopefully, we will also see some of the girls go on to mentor students and help AMT build a community of young women interested in this emerging field.”

The AMT’s 2024 Olympiad teams are supported by the Trust’s National Sponsor of the Australian Informatics and Mathematical Olympiad Programs, Optiver, strategic higher education partner University of New South Wales, and the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science and Resources.

MEDIA CONTACTS: For more information, please contact Kate Mason, Threesides marketing, on 0419 843 300 kate.mason@threesides.com.au

MEDIA BACKGROUNDER

About EGOI

  • The competition includes problems that cover a broad range of mathematical and computer science topics including functions, logic, graphs, probability, data structures, recursion, and algorithmic strategies.
  • EGOI will take place at Veldhoven, the Netherlands between 21-27 July 2024

The European Girls’ Olympiad in Informatics team for 2024 comprises:

Ayana Fridkin, Year 9, Caulfield Grammer School, VIC

Ayana started her journey in informatics as a young child when her dad (who is also a programmer) found a basic Python coding course. Her love of Python problem solving elements led her to the Australian Informatics Olympiad. In 2023, Ayana received the top prize in Mathematics and Statistics Research Competition from the University of Melbourne for using Python/pandas to analyse weather prediction accuracy.

“I am especially looking forward to meeting other female informaticians and hearing about their coding experiences. I’ve never met many very skilled female coders – I could count the number of ones I know on my hands – so that’s the main cause for excitement for me. Of course, I am also looking forward to solving the problems!”

Ayana plans to pursue a programming career, with the goal of starting her own company and building apps with her coding skills. She hopes to create something that benefits society and the environment through raising awareness about global warming or the earth’s limited resources.

Christina Chen, Year 11, Korowa Anglican Girls’ School, VIC

Christina began coding in primary school, where she participated in multiple competitions with design and technical coding aspects. She is looking forward to meeting girls from other countries who excel in informatics. She believes participating in this competition will be a unique opportunity for her to compete with a wider range of competitors from different countries.

In future schooling years, Christina wishes to further her studies in computer science and maths with the hope of working in the technology sector, possibly relating to AI, which has been an interest of hers since year 5. 

Honey Raut, Year 12, University High School, VIC

Honey has always enjoyed programming and problem-solving, so it was easy for her to fall in love with informatics. However, it was her experience in a camp meeting of like-minded peers, learning complex algorithms and getting a taste for the real fun of informatics that truly sparked her interest.

“As a young aspiring female informatician, my advice to others would be to try to consistently learn and solve problems. Each solved problem gives you an immediate dopamine rush, and the more you learn, the more problems you can solve. You’ll soon realise that the key to endless happiness is informatics.”

Alexa Wu, Year 8, Pymble Ladies’ College, NSW

As a naturally curious person, Alexa has always been interested in puzzles and problem-solving. Being in year 8, Alexa hasn’t quite figured out what she would like to focus her future studies on but knows that she wants to leave the world a better place than how she found it.

“My advice to girls in informatics would be this: trust yourself and give every problem a shot.”

Heading into EGOI, Alexa is looking forward to meeting other teams, involving her informatics school training with her friends – and doing the contest problems, of course.