[BIO97 Logo] The British Informatics Olympiad
Sponsored by Data Connection.
[Data Connection logo]

Press release
20 February 1997
For immediate publication
BIO'97 - the national computing competition for schools

Searching for Britain's Top Young Computing Talent

The 1997 British Informatics Olympiad (BIO) is searching for our brightest young programmers to represent Britain in the Olympic games of computing, the prestigious International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). The winners of this year's BIO will travel expenses-paid to South Africa to compete at the week-long IOI against students from around 60 countries.

BIO'97 is sponsored by Data Connection, one of the UK's most successful software development companies.

The BIO begins with a competition in schools throughout Britain, for which we are currently inviting entries. Students take a 3-hour paper in which they are required to solve challenging problems using a computer. The top 15 will be invited to the final, to be held at Christ's College, Cambridge, over Easter - where the IOI team will be selected after a tough weekend of tests. The team of four, accompanied by two team leaders, will travel to Cape Town, South Africa, at the end of November 1997 to take part in the IOI. We are hoping to build on the team's recent successes, bringing back four medals in the last two years and reaching the ranking of the strongest English-speaking nation in the competition.

Further information

More information on the BIO may be obtained from:

Antony Rix
Chairman, the British Informatics Olympiad
Christ's College, Cambridge CB2 3BU
Phone: 01223 277 837 or 01473 644 339.
E-mail: (see contact details from home page)
Justine McLennan
Data Connection Limited
100 Church Street, Enfield EN2 6BQ
Phone: 0181 366 1177
Fax: 0181 363 1468
E-mail: http://www.dataconnection.com/

Internet resources

The BIO publishes a large amount of information on the Internet. For details of the BIO and related material, take a look at the BIO Index.


Background Information

The British Informatics Olympiad

The British Informatics Olympiad (BIO) is an annual competition in computer programming for secondary schools and sixth form colleges. Any student who is under 19, in full time pre-university education and resident in mainland Britain, is eligible to take part and may win the prize of an expenses-paid trip to the prestigious International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). The first stage of the BIO is a three-hour exam, taken at school, in which students solve problems with the aid of a computer. These are marked by a teacher and submitted for moderation. Based on the results of this exam, the top 12-15 competitors are invited to the BIO final at Christ's College, Cambridge, just after Easter. The best four make up the team to represent Britain at the IOI in Cape Town, South Africa.

Organisation and aims

The BIO is a non-profit making organisation founded in 1995, aiming to encourage students to take an active interest in information technology, to allow them to meet and exchange ideas, and to give the best the chance to compete at the annual International Olympiad in Informatics.

In order to make the BIO as inclusive as possible, it is free to enter. This can only be achieved thanks to the aid of commercial sponsorship. BIO'97 is sponsored by Data Connection, one of the UK's most successful software development companies. Founded in 1981, Data Connection now has 160 employees. The company's outstanding success has been driven by a total commitment to quality and a high level of business generated overseas. Data Connection recruit world-class graduates, and offer pre-university work and vacation work to exceptional students.

Other competitions

A similar competition in computer programming exists for students in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. About 60 countries participate in the IOI; many national competitions have Internet pages which may be found through the International Olympiad in Informatics.

A number of other programming competitions take place world-wide, including the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest for university students. In the UK, the BCS Programming Competition is open to teams of up to five members aged under 30.

Informatics is only one of several International Science Olympiads. Similar competitions exist in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, and were formed as a result of UNESCO initiatives.

The British Informatics Olympiad