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The International Olympiad in Informatics: two new medals for the French team

The 2021 edition of the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) was held online from June 19 to 25. Selected and trained by the France-ioi association, the French team took part in the events on the EPITA Parisian campus, its historical sponsor, adding two new bronze medals to its list of achievements!

This year’s French team

From left to right : Charles Dai, Alice Tosel, Justin Cahuzac and Oscar Fischler

This year’s two medalists are Justin Cahuzac and Oscar Fischler. “I had already participated in the eJOI (the junior equivalent of this competition at the European level) in 2018 and the IOI in 2020, and I’m always extremely proud to be part of the French team,” explained Justin, a senior in high school who spoke about his most recent Olympiad. “I really wanted to do better than last year. I analyzed what I did well and what I didn’t do so well in the previous competition, so that I could improve myself. And I obviously trained in order to be as prepared as possible!” Oscar, who had already participated in the 2020 eJOI, was also happy to have a shot at the next level. For the 9th grader, this selection was, above all, a reward for his extensive personal investment: “It took an entire year of work, with frequent training sessions, and a lot of time spent coding, looking for algorithms, reading annals, testing and doing internships…” 

As for Alice Tosel, the first girl to join the French IOI team (after already making a name for herself at the eJOI in 2019), she almost brought home a medal: the 11th grader who is “proud” to be part of the French team and “passionate about computer science and competitions”, finished 16 points away from the bronze medal. Charles Dai, “happy” to have made his debut at the IOI, also nearly brought home the bronze medal, lacking only 31 points. A good score nevertheless for this promising 10th grader who represented France at the 2020 eJOI, winning the silver medal!

Rigor and passion

Even though this year’s IOI took place when students were taking the Baccalaureate and General Certificate of Secondary Education exams, making the training phase more difficult, the results of this 2021 edition were very positive in the eyes of Mathias Hiron, co-founder and president of France-ioi:  “Beyond the overall performance, this team was very interesting as it brought together four different school levels, from 9th through 12th grade. Each member shared the same passion coupled with strong motivation that has lasted for several years! Indeed, joining the French team is the result of long term work. Some start as early as fifth grade, and even before that. And we must not forget the importance of one’s mindset and self-confidence: if we don’t begin by saying “I’m going to succeed”, we have less chance of achieving our goals. This is in addition to other necessary skills, such as meticulousness, attention to detail, concentration… These are not always innate qualities, but we help our youth develop them by working with them year after year! “ The next France-ioi event will be the 2021 eJOI edition, scheduled for the end of August. The young French team will be at EPITA to participate. Let’s hope it brings them luck! “In any case, there is always luck involved!” concludes Mathias Hiron.

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