[BIO99 Logo] The British Informatics Olympiad is
the computing competition for schools and colleges.
BIO'99 is sponsored by Data Connection.
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Press release
28 March 1999
For immediate publication
BIO'99 - the national computing competition for schools

Young programmers chosen for Olympic opportunity


This weekend a group of 15 outstanding young programmers pitted their wits against each other in the 17th century halls of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. The event was the final of a challenging and innovative competition for young students - the British Informatics Olympiad (BIO). They were picked for the final in a tough selection from 1100 pupils in 120 schools and colleges nationwide. The four winners will form a team to compete in the Olympic games of computing, this year held in Antalya, Turkey. Their trip will be expenses-paid, thanks to financial support from Data Connection, sponsor of the BIO. Data Connection is one of the UK's most successful software development companies.


The 1999 British Informatics Olympiad began with a competition open to all schools and colleges around Britain. About 1100 students took a 3 hour paper in which they faced tasks including modelling rays bouncing off atoms in a mysterious black box, creating rivers of numbers and programming a computer to find out the scores in each round of a game given only the total.

At the final, held this weekend at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, their capabilities were really stretched with written problems on sharing out cake and finding cross-references in literature, and programming tasks including zig-zagging numbers, shuffling cards, and helping two spies to map out a secret building. Even the very best found it hard to solve all the problems in the limited time available.

The top four will form the British team for 1999. Accompanied by two team leaders, they will travel in October to represent Britain at the 11th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), this year held in the Turkish resort town of Antalya.

The winners have just been announced at today's presentation ceremony. Phil May, one of the founding directors of Data Connection, awarded the prizes. He said, "Data Connection is proud to sponsor BIO'99. As one of the UK's most successful software development companies, we base our success on recruiting exceptionally talented people and training them to become world-class software developers, managers and marketeers. BIO'99 has succeeded in attracting some of the country's brightest and best young computing students. The IOI team is a formidable collection of talent - exactly the sort of people we recruit as both pre-university and full-time employees."

The team members are to be:

Two reserves were also chosen:

The other finalists were:

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)
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/


Copyright-free photographs of the team and finalists are available from the Chairman.

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.

If you are publishing a link to the BIO website, please use the location http://www.christs.cam.ac.uk/bio/


Background Information

The British Informatics Olympiad

The British Informatics Olympiad (BIO) is an annual competition in computer programming for students at 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 has the chance to 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 15 competitors are invited to the BIO final in 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'99 is sponsored by Data Connection, one of the UK's most successful software development companies. Founded in 1981, Data Connection now has over 180 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