The Canadian team competing at the 2020 International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) earned two gold medals and two silver medals, putting them all in the top 25 per cent of all competitors.
This year’s hosts, Singapore, and the international committees ran a successful virtual event involving over 340 students from 87 countries. The Canadian participants gathered in Waterloo to prepare and complete the algorithmic and computer programming problems. Troy Vasiga, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, and J.P. Pretti, Lecturer and Master of Mathematics for Teachers Director, acted as the team leaders.
Thomas Guo and Zixiang Zhou won gold medals finishing in 18th and 20th place, respectively. Guo just started grade 12 at Phillips Exeter Academy, and Zhou began grade 11 at London Central Secondary School. This was Zhou’s third IOI medal. Both Guo and Zhou went on to compete for Canada at the International Mathematical Olympiad, which immediately followed IOI 2020.
The other two members of the team, George Chen and Chris Trevisan earned silver medals. Chen, now a first-year student in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, graduated from Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute and Trevisan is in Grade 12 at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute.
"The Canadian IOI team performed extremely well this year and should be incredibly proud of their results. Having to wake up at 5:30 am to be ready to write the contest at 7:00 am this past week was an extra obstacle, but again, the team overcame that challenge,” remarked Vasiga. “The competitors were extremely supportive of each other, and in spite of not being able to meet the other competitors in person this nor see the sights of Singapore, I know they had a positive experience."
Another new Waterloo student, Ildar Gainullin, also earned a gold medal finishing in 8th place overall. Gainullin competed for Russia and began his studies in computer science from a distance this term.
IOI is an annual international informatics competition for high school students. Each nation that competes sends four contestants who compete on an individual basis to solve three problems in five hours over each of the two days of competition.