The 31st International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI 2019) kicks off next week in Baku, Azerbaijan. From Aug. 4-11, hundreds of high schoolers from around the world will come together in the capital of the Caucasus to compete, learn, and share.
Cognite is one of the organizations sponsoring the Norwegian team, which consists of four students from Oslo and Trondheim.
“We believe we have a responsibility to support the next generation of computer scientists,” said Geir Engdahl, Chief Technology Officer at Cognite. “The brilliant students traveling to Baku next month are exactly what we are looking for in future Cogniters -- in fact, one of the members of the Norwegian team will be joining us as an intern next summer.”
The contest part of the Olympiad consists of designing algorithms that efficiently solve tasks that have been submitted by other computer scientists. For example, during last year’s Olympiad in Tsukuba, Japan (see image), contestants built algorithms that identified a secret string of button presses in an imaginary video game and calculated the smallest possible toll required to travel on a fictional highway, among other tasks.
“It’s an exciting challenge,” Olav Røthe Bakken, who is coaching this year’s Norwegian team, said about the Olympiad. “It’s well above what you’d learn in school. If you go for the obvious solution, you may only solve part of the task. If you want a perfect score, you need to come up with a pretty smart algorithm.”
The team in early July gathered in Bergen to prepare for the upcoming Olympiad. Bakken said he believes this year’s team has the potential to take home a silver medal.
Last year, the Norwegian team took home two bronze medals. That team also had a Cognite connection; Fredrik Anfinsen, Director of Product Development at Cognite, helped coach and traveled to Japan with the team.
“Last year’s Olympiad was an incredibly inspiring experience, and I am confident this year’s contest will be as well,” Anfinsen said. “We want to wish all the contestants the best of luck next month. Go Team Norway!”