The French finals of the International IT Olympiads were held during the last weekend of April on EPITA’s campus. Like every year, the contest was entirely organized by the France-IOI at the national level including recruiting, training camp, selecting participants, arranging for the national final … and this is thanks to the support of EPITA, which provides its classrooms, its computer, as well as finances the entire cost of the association.
The competition, which consists of two rounds of 5 hours, each consisting of 4 questions of algorithms was used to select 4 participants who will be part of the France team for the grand finale. The participants are – Jules Pondard (15 years), George-Axel Jaloyan (15 years), Mendes Oulamara (17 years), and Paul Kirchner (18 years – already a bronze medalist twice in previous years).
Every year, for a period of one week, a country welcomes delegations from 70 countries participating in the contest, i.e. about 280 candidates under the age of 20 years old. This year, it’s in Thailand that the 4 members of the France team will compete in the World Finals from July 22 to July 29.
“Participants at the World Finals are usually brilliant students and computer geeks, who are pursuing their careers in academic research or in major companies such as Google, Facebook or Microsoft after graduating from the Ecole Normale Supérieure or EPITA,” says Mathias Hiron, president of the France IOI, that train students at EPITA.
Students participating in this demanding competition are coached by regularly surfing on France IOI site, which offers free computer exercises and algorithms. With 10 years of existence, the site has 10,000 registered members and 500 daily visitors. Mathias Hiron wants to gradually internationalize. For the moment it is available only in French, and soon it will be available in Spanish and later in other languages.
The competition: a gateway to the future
George-Axel, one of the participants selected for the world finals, said: “I found the site for solving programming problems (C in my case). I then started doing some algorithmic exercises, and I didn’t stop afterwards. I discovered an entire community through internships of France-IOI. This was really rewarding for me. The algorithms are not taught in the traditional curriculum, so France-IOI was the ultimate link that connected me to this area. I learned a new way of coding, a way to solve algorithmic problems, and more generally, the art of finding a research method for a given problem.”
“The fallout was almost immediate, since after the first course from IOI France, my math average gained 2 points, and my ability to find solutions to math problems has been increasing considerably. The IOI represents the accomplishment of the work done for several years. Besides its purely IT nature, this competition opened many other doors, and helped enrich my CV and my personal experience. In addition, there is the honor of representing the nation in an international competition,” concluded George-Axel.
Find all the information on the official site.