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

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

Winners of Cambridge young programmers' challenge


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 950 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 Tampere, Finland. Their trip will be expenses-paid, thanks to financial support from Data Connection, sponsor of the BIO. Data Connection is one of the world's most successful computer technology companies.


The 2001 British Informatics Olympiad began with a competition open to all schools and colleges around Britain. About 950 students took a 3 hour paper in which they faced tasks including playing eenie, meenie, mainee, mo, cracking the Playfair code, and rescuing astronauts stranded by a crazy computer.

At the final, held this weekend at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge, their capabilities were really stretched with written problems on analogue computers and traffic lights, followed by programming tasks including protecting the wildlife of Home, Home on the Range, encoding top-security data and speeding up the manufacturing processes of a family firm. None of the students were able to solve all of the problems in the time available - though several got close.

The top four will form the British team for 2001. Accompanied by two team leaders, they will travel in October to represent Britain at the 13th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), this year held in the Finnish city of Tampere.

The winners have just been announced at today's presentation ceremony. Dr Peter Brown, a software developer at Data Connection, awarded the prizes. He said, "Data Connection is proud to sponsor BIO 2001. As one of the world's most successful computer technolgy companies, we base our success on recruiting exceptionally talented people and training them to become world-class software developers, managers and marketeers. BIO 2001 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: 07730 426 250 or 01473 261 862.
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/


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 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