[BIO98 Logo] The British Informatics Olympiad
Sponsored by Data Connection.
[Data Connection logo]

Press release
2 April 1998
For immediate publication
BIO'98 - the national computing competition for schools

Top young programmers battle for Olympic chance


15 of Britain's most outstanding young computer programmers are competing this weekend to represent Britain in the Olympic games of computing, the prestigious International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). The best four will travel expenses-paid to Portugal to compete at the week-long IOI against students from around 60 countries.

BIO'98 is sponsored by Data Connection, one of the UK's most successful software development companies.

The BIO began with a competition in schools throughout Britain. About 900 students took a 3-hour paper in which they had to solve challenging problems using a computer. The top 15 will attend this weekend's final, to be held at Christ's College, Cambridge - 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 Lisbon in September to take part in the IOI. As well as programming contests they will have the chance to meet their peers from all over the world. The IOI programme also includes visits to Expo'98 which is being held at the same time. In the last three years successive British teams have won five medals at the IOI.

Further information

A press release with the results of this weekend's final will be sent on Sunday 5 April, 1998. Press representatives are welcome to attend the presentations at around 1.30pm on Sunday. If you wish to cover this weekend's final, or want more information on the BIO, please contact:

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)
Becky Lloyd
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, over the Easter holiday. The best four make up the team to represent Britain at the IOI.

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'98 is sponsored by Data Connection, one of the UK's most successful software development companies. Founded in 1981, Data Connection now has 170 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.

The British Informatics Olympiad