Newsletter No. 5, May, 2005

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Spyros Bakoyiannis, Chairman of IOI 2005, addresses the Mayor of Nowy Sącz at the final dinner of the Spring 2005 IC-ISC meeting in Nowy Sącz, Poland.

I was impressed by the support of the University and the local authorities regarding the organizing committee of IOI 2005. The organization of the annual IC and ISC meetings guaranteed the success of the IOI 2005. The facilities and the program of Nawy Sacz  fulfills our expectations for the coming IOI 2005.

We left from Nowy Sacz having the best memories.

Spyros Bakoyiannis, Chairman IOI 2005.


Poland, especially Nowy Sacz, is waiting for the best young computer scientists from around the world. The review meetings were very helpful for the IOI 2005 organizers and we promise that the IOI 2005 itself will be very well prepared. More detailed information on the event can be found on the IOI 2005 website

Krzyszkof Diks, Chairman IOI 2005 Organizing Committee

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Members of the 2005 International Committee (IC) meet in Nowy Sącz, April 20 -24, 2005 to review the preparations for hosting IOI 2005.

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Members of the International Scientific Committee (ISC) meet in Nowy Sącz, April 20 -24, 2005 to review the problems, solutions, and the grading system for IOI 2005.

The complete ISC was involved in the review meeting. We discussed task proposals, competition rules, and contest facilities (rooms, software, hardware, web services).

The preparations are in full swing, and the Polish are clearly working hard to make the competition at IOI 2005 a worthy challenge. In due time, you will find out more.

Tom Verhoeff, The Netherlands


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A copy of the Liberty Bell stands at the entrance to WSB–NLU, a Business and Management learning center in Nowy Sącz, and the site of IOI 2005.

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Dorms to be used for housing the competitors and the team leaders for IOI 2005.



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A typical dorm room. It was occupied at the time and kept very neat.

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Main Market Square in Krakow. Krakow is the city in Poland where teams and leaders will be met and transported by bus to Nowy Sącz. It is a 2.5 hour bus trip.

Krakow is a beautiful city and is an ideal place to come a day or so before IOI 2005 to get your delegation over jet lag. I recommend you stay at Hotel Campanile.  It is centrally located within walking distance of the old town. This is where all the action is and a great place to walk. I'm taking the US delegation there August 17, one day before the official arrival date August 18. The IOI 2005 bus will pick up delegations at this hotel on August 18.

 Don Piele, USA.

Photos taken at the April IC-ISC meeting in Nowy Sacz.

Office of the President

The International Olympiad is about to embark on an exciting new direction as a result of the decision to elect a President of IOI. At its recent meeting in Poland, the International Committee looked at the proposal and inputs received and approved the following process leading up to the elections at General Assembly in Nowy Sacz, Poland in August this year.

 At the first GA meeting in Poland, the Chairman will place the amendments to the Regulations governing this position before Delegation leaders for approval. Once the amendments are approved, the Chairman will formally announce that nominations (together with the required documentation) may be submitted to the Executive Director, to reach him at any time before the commencement of the GA meeting before competition day 2.

  •  All candidates wishing to stand for election must have a proposer and seconder and must indicate his/her acceptance.

  •  In addition each candidate must present a document indicating the support of at least 20% of those delegations present at IOI (Observer countries are not included).

  • Each candidate for election must also submit a written motivation, a brief CV and passport size photograph with these documents.

  • All candidates will be permitted, if they wish, to make a presentation at the last GA meeting.

A nomination form which will cover the above requirements will be made available for all potential candidates.


n addition, to the above procedures, it is also necessary for candidates to meet the following criteria for the position of President of IOI:

  • Have a background in Computer Science/Education

  • Have experience in organizing National or International competitions

  • Be dedicated and committed to the objectives of IOI

  • Have played an active role in IOI and

  • Have a record of Leadership






Distinguished Service Nominations

n 2002 we recognized the first group of individual members of IOI for their contributions to the organization. This has become an annual event and you are once again asked to submit names and brief details of any individual/s whom you feel are deserving of recognition.

What are we looking for?

Candidates for recognition should have

  • Made a significant contribution to the development of IOI

  • Attended IOI for at least five years as a member of one of the official IOI bodies (GA, IC, ISC, ITWG)

Closing date for nominations

All nominations for recognition must reach the Executive Director by not later than 15 June 2005.

Nominations received will be considered by IC with recipients being announced at IOI2005.

Previous recipients

2002                Stanislaw Waligorski
                       Peter Heyderhoff
                       Mrs Emilia Ratobylskaya
                       Prof. Wenhu Wu

2003                 Ries Kock
                       Hakan Stromberg
                       Vladimir Kiryukhin

2004                 Prof. Pavel Azalov

Workshop Proposal

At the April IC-ISC meeting in Poland, Wolfgang Pohl made a proposal for a workshop on IOI development. Before the meeting, he had discussed this proposal with several IOI people, sent it to the ISC for comments, and formed a tentative programme and organization committee.

The workshop will mainly deal with the scientific content of computing contests. It aims at bringing people from different contest communities together, so that experiences and ideas can be shared. Several options for organizing such a workshop have been discussed:

It could be scheduled along with the IOI 2006 review meeting in Merida, Mexico, or be a part of some relevant conference. Wolfgang welcomes comments and suggestions; let him know whether you would be interested in participating. Now, here is the text of his proposal:

Perspectives on Computing Science Competitions for (High School) Students

On an international level, but also in many countries in the world, computingscience competitions for (high school) students are organized according to the example of the IOI. In recent years, this "IOI-alike" contest model has developed towards and focused on algorithmic programming tasks with purely automatic grading. This focus similarly holds for the most important college student contest, the ACM ICPC. While this model has great advantages, namely objectivity in grading, there are drawbacks, too: Small mistakes may lead to zero scores, faulty solutions may achieve full scores, if they luckily fit the test cases. Furthermore, IOI-alike contests cover only a limited aspect of computer science, which has a negative impact on the relevance and importance of such contests.


The main goal of this workshop is to provide an effective forum for discussing both different (possible) approaches to organizing computing science contests and potential directions of development for IOI-alike contests. The workshop itself is organized as scientific workshop: participants are selected based on submissions of extended abstracts (there may be invited speakers, however), and full or short papers shall be compiled and published as workshop proceedings.

The structure of the workshop is planned as follows: In a first part, participants will present their proposals, with plenty of room for discussion. In a second part, workshop participants are expected to work on concrete proposals for the future development of IOI-alike contests (short-term, mid-term, long-term), which shall be presented to their home communities for discussion.

Last but not least, this workshop may initiate the establishment of the area of computing science contests as a scientific field.

Organization and Program Committee:

Ben Burton, Australia
Martins Opmanis, Latvia
Wolfgang Pohl, Germany
Gordon Cormack, Canada
Tom Verhoeff, Netherlands

Wolfgang Pohl []



Linux Programming Environment on CD

or a first-time participant in the IOI, many things are new. One of them is the programming environment. Even if one is willing to install an IOI-like environment on one's own computer, the outcome may be difficult. And, at times, the installation is a bigger operation, like if one wants to install Linux to a Windows-only computer.

To help in this matter, the ITWG has started to develop a bootable Linux CD (a so-called live CD) with the IOI environment and tools. With such a CD, it is possible to try out the IOI programming environment without a need to make installations on one's own computer.

An demo version of the CD was presented at the IC and ISC meeting in Poland in April. Hopefully after a couple of improvements, the ITWG will be able to release a version of the CD a couple of months ahead of the IOI in Poland.

The possible ways to deliver the CD include a mailing to the team leaders and making an image available in the Internet. It should be noted that a similar CD can not be made available for Windows as Windows is not free software.

A further future development, hopefully made possible by the introduction of the CD, is to get rid of Windows as a competition programming environment altogether. Windows was primarily introduced in IOI 2001, because the change into a Linux-only environment after DOS was seen as a too dramatic one. However, on the other hand the Windows environment in the competition is in practice worse in comparison to the Linux environment - there is no timing that would produce the same results as on Linux (which is used in grading), process limits can not be set similarly, the overall programmer's toolset is different (and in the IOI generally speaking poorer), and it is a pain to try to produce installations with the same versions for just the compilers on both platforms.

Many further technical developments (like extra tools etc.) are also harder, because everything needs to be produced on both platforms, and potentially for all languages. Also, the introduction of a new language maybe becomes somehow feasible, if there is only one operating system that needs to be taken into account. With the help of the practice CD, going for a Linux-only environment should not be a problem and then new ways to improve the competition may become available.

Jyrki Nummenmaa,  Chairman ITWG