A recent report noted that a team from Malaysia has secured Malaysia’s first ever gold medal at the 2018 International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), held in Tsukuba, Japan.
Known as the “Olympics of high school computer science,” the IOI, which receives UNESCO patronage, is the most prestigious computer science competition for secondary school students around the world.
This year, one of the four students representing Malaysia at the 2018 IOI, garnered a gold medal. This is also the first gold medal since Malaysia’s first participation at the IOI in 2012.
The student is a Form 5 student at SMJK Chung Ling in Penang. This is the third time he represented Malaysia at the IOI.
The Malaysian team was selected through a series of contests organised by the Malaysian Informatics and Programming Society (MIPS). The first of which for the 2018/19 season, which is the Malaysian Computing Challenge (MCC) will be held on 20-21 Oct 2018.
MCC is supported by the Malaysian government agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) as part of the #mydigitalmaker movement.
The founding president of MIPS stated that Malaysia’s first gold medal at the Informatics Olympiad is an important milestone. The hope is that more students will be inspired to take part in the MCC, the first step in their journey to the IOI.
Adding her congratulations to the winners, MDEC’s vice president of Talent & Digital Entrepreneurship commented that it is wonderful that the International Olympiad in Informatics is discovering great young talents in the computer science arena.
According to her, this gold medal win by Malaysian students is also another indicator that Malaysia is on the right track with its talent development movement, which includes embedding computational thinking and digital creativity into our schools.
The MDEC VP further explained that the integration of creativity and computational thinking in schools is part of the #mydigitalmaker Movement which is to develop future digital creators by exposing the Malaysian youth to the innovative aspects of digital technologies.
According to the official IOI website, Malaysia has also won 2 silver medals and 5 bronze medals over the 7 years that it has participated in the competition.
Wins in international competitions like IOI help to manifest the goals and objectives laid out in Malaysia’s Smart City initiatives, i.e., they help prove that some of the educational strategies that the government has adopted are working.
According to the Malaysian Informatics And Programming Society’s log of the journey, to prepare the students for the competition, a loft was rented out for the mind-setting camp, where the team mainly solved problems from other OI contests and discussed solutions.
The ream also relaxed and created healthy team dynamics by playing sports such as ping pong. The overall atmosphere was cheerful and the camp ended with the team departing from KLIA 2 to Japan.
At the fair, the team took part in various activities and learned about various technological advancements in the field of science.
The individual team members underwent various challenges involving problem-solving and designing solutions.
On the last morning of the competition, the team observed a knowledge fair, where they sat through the film concert performed by IA, and an informative talk about competitive programming and future careers. The team was able to learn about the promising future of informatics and coding and brought back valuable lessons home.