[BIO Logo] The British Informatics Olympiad is
the computing competition for schools and colleges.
BIO 2001 is sponsored by Data Connection.

Press release
6 April 2001
For immediate publication
BIO 2001 - the national computing competition for schools

Country's top young programmers in Cambridge challenge


15 of Britain's most outstanding young computer programmers are competing this weekend in the British Informatics Olympiad to represent Britain in the Olympic games of computing, the prestigious International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). The best four will travel expenses-paid to Finland to compete at the week-long IOI against students from around 70 countries.

BIO 2001 is sponsored by Data Connection, one of the world's most successful computer technology companies, and is supported by e-competitions, the focus organisation for quality IT competitions.

The BIO began with a competition in schools throughout Britain. About 950 students took a 3-hour paper in which they had to solve challenging problems using a computer. The tasks they faced included cracking a code and rescuing astronauts from a rogue computer.

The top 15 will attend this weekend's final, to be held at Corpus Christi 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 Tampere, Finland in July 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. In the last five years successive British teams have won more than a dozen medals at the IOI, including four in 1999.

Further information

A press release with the results of this weekend's final will be sent on Sunday 8 April, 2001. 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: 07730 426 250
E-mail: (see contact details from home page)
Richard Forster
Phone: 07803 044 741
E-mail: (see contact details from home page)
Justine McLennan
Data Connection Limited
100 Church Street, Enfield EN2 6BQ
Phone: 020 8366 1177
Fax: 020 8363 2927
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 at 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 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 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. Since 1996 the BIO has been sponsored by Data Connection, one of the world's most successful computer technology companies. Founded in 1981, Data Connection now has over 200 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