20 February 2013

Australia is gearing up to be the focus of the international informatics community when we host the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) 2013 in July this year at The University of Queensland (UQ).

Informatics is the science of computer programming and encompasses human-computer interaction, information processing and information systems.

In February the prestigious IOI International Committee travelled to Brisbane to discuss plans for the event which will take place on UQ's St Lucia campus from 6–13 July 2013.

The UK-based President of the IOI, Richard Forster, said the study of informatics was becoming increasingly more relevant and imperative for secondary students.

“Informatics is integral to the information economy which drives the global marketplace and is the basis of contemporary society,” Mr Forster said.

“The IOI recognises the achievements of the most talented informatics students from around the world and encourages others to take up the challenge.”

The IOI is the most recently established Olympiad of the UNESCO-sanctioned International Science and Mathematics Olympiads held worldwide annually for exceptionally talented secondary school students who represent the pinnacle of achievement in each discipline.

Now the second largest of the UNESCO Olympiads with more than 80 countries entering, the IOI is hosted by a different country each year.

Although Australia has participated since 1999, this is the first year that the IOI will be held in this country and is being jointly organised by UQ and the Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT).

Chairman of IOI 2013, Professor Peter Taylor, extended a warm welcome to his fellow committee members.

“It is a great honour for Australia to host the IOI and we are working to ensure the success of the event so it is a memorable experience for the students competing, the observers and visitors who attend,” Professor Taylor said.

The Australian Informatics Olympiad team secured a silver and two bronze medals at the 24th International Olympiad in Informatics held in Italy last year.

Training and selection for this year's team is under way and the four-member team will be announced at a ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra, on 17 June.

Australia's annual participation in the IOI is administered by the not-for-profit AMT, based at the University of Canberra, with Associate Professor Benjamin Burton of UQ’s School of Mathematics and Physics maintaining an active role in directing the Australian training program for IOI from 1999 until 2008, and currently sitting on the IOI Scientific Advisory Committee.

The Olympiad program receives significant support by the Australian Government through its Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

The Queensland State Government is a major sponsor of IOI 2013.

Further information: Professor Peter Taylor, Chairman, IOI 2013; pjt013@gmail.com or Eleanor Fischer, Senior Engagement Officer, Faculty of Science; 07 3365 4547; e.fischer@uq.edu.au or visit http://www.ioi2013.org