[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
15 October 1999
For immediate publication
BIO'99 - the national computing competition for schools

British students win gold, silver and bronze


Today in Antalya, Turkey, all four members of the British team won medals at the International Olympiad in Informatics, the annual Olympic Games of computing. Secondary school students from 64 different countries competed for medals. The team's performance is Britain's best yet: Tomasz Czajka won gold and Tom Garnett won silver, while bronze medals went to both Jamie Shotton and Thomas Barnet-Lamb. The overall winner was Hong Chen from China.

Contents of this release

Summary - briefing - contact details - photographs and further information - team profiles


A team of four British students have spent this week in the historic Turkish region of Antalya, where they represented Britain at the 11th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). 252 students competed in two gruelling days of tests. In these they had to write computer programs to solve complex problems with a strict time limit. The team travelled expenses-paid thanks to sponsorship by Data Connection, a world-leading software development company based in the UK.

The problems this year were exceptionally difficult - half of the participants solved less than two of the six tasks. Several IT professionals admitted that they would have found it impossible to do as well as the best students. A typical problem required the students to find the best location for an airport in hilly terrain. They were given a map and had to find the largest area with height differences within a given range, to minimise the amount of land that would have to be moved. Other problems included arranging flowers in the most pleasing way and finding the fastest route through a city with unusual traffic lights.

The British students' exceptional performance places the team ahead of the rest of western Europe as well as the USA, Canada and Australia. Vietnam was the highest-scoring country overall.

The students were selected in the 1999 British Informatics Olympiad. This competition is open to all schools and colleges around Britain. About 1100 students took part. Presenting prizes to the winners of the BIO, Phil May, one of the founding directors of Data Connection, 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."

Contact details

More information may be obtained from:

Frances Sloan
Skill IT Project Manager
IT NTO, 16 Berners Street, London W1P 3DD
Phone: 0171 580 6677
E-mail: (see contact details from home page)

Becky Rogers
Data Connection Limited
100 Church Street, Enfield EN2 6BQ
Phone: 0181 366 1177
Fax: 0181 363 2927
E-mail: http://www.dataconnection.com/
Web: www.dataconnection.com

The team leaders can be contacted as follows:

Photographs and further information

Copyright-free photographs of the team members are available on the BIO website, including pictures from the IOI. The BIO publishes a large amount of information on the Internet at http://www.christs.cam.ac.uk/bio/
Please feel free to publish a link to this website.

A full list of results from the 1999 International Olympiad in Informatics is at http://www.ioi99.org.tr/medals.html

Background information on the British Informatics Olympiad can be found in our 9 October 1999 press release.

Team profiles

Thomas Barnet-Lamb (bronze medal)

Age 17

Bury St Edmunds

Westminster School

Tomasz Czajka (gold medal)

Age 18

Stalowa Wola, Poland

Warwick School

Tom Garnett (silver medal)

Age 17


Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge

Jamie Shotton (bronze medal)

Age 18


Magdalen College School, Oxford

The British Informatics Olympiad