After a gap of 9 years India wins gold at International Olympiad for Informatics

After a Gap of 9 Years, India Wins Gold at International Olympiad for Informatics

This year, a team of four students went to the International Olympiads for Informatics. It is one of the top five science olympiads across the world. India has been participating in international competition for the last 22 years and this year, the Indian team won a gold medal after nine years. This is the second time the Indian team has bagged gold at the International Olympiad for Informatics, the last time was in 2014.

India was represented by four students and they all won medals. Kshitij Sodani secured a gold medal, Paras Kasmalkar and Shreyan Ray got silver medals and Sushil Raaja U won a bronze medal. The contingent was led by Madhavan Mukund, director of Chennai Mathematical Institute and Jatin Yadav of IIT Delhi. The competition was held in Szeged, Hungary.

Meet the gold medallist
This was the fourth year at the International Olympiad for Informatics for Kshitij Sodani. He began in 2020 with a bronze, silver in 2021 and 2022 and gold in 2023. He is the only student from India to bring a total of four medals consecutively at IOI. He was the youngest student (14-year-old) to win a medal in 2020 and this year became the youngest ever to win a gold medal at the age of 17. He also secured a gold medal at the Asia Pacific Informatics Olympiad (APIO) 2023, held in Beijing. This was India’s second gold medal at APIO till date, the last gold medal was won 14 years ago. spoke to Kshitij Sodani regarding his recent win and future plans.

Sodani hails from Gurugram but is currently living in Kota. He wants to make a big impact in the tech sector and is interested in research. His areas of interest are theoretical computer science and mathematics.

A student of Disha Delphi Public School, Kota, he plans to study abroad for graduation. He is applying to universities abroad including National University of Singapore (NUS). Interestingly, NUS provides a 100 per cent scholarship for IOI gold medalists.

Sodani’s score at the International Olympiad for Informatics was 387 out of 600 and the cut-off was 333. “It was the most difficult IOI till date and the cut-off was also the lowest,” said Sodani.

pplicants have to go through three selection rounds to get selected for the international level— the zonal round, national round and camp. The zonal round has two tests, candidates have to clear either of them to get selected. The two tests are— Zonal Informatics Olympiad (ZIO) and Zonal Computing Olympiad (ZCO). ZIO is a pen-and-paper mathematics and logic test and ZCO is a computer programming test. A total of 300 applicants were selected for the zonal round.

In the national round, 30 students are selected through a competitive programming competition. The national olympiad is called the Indian National Olympiad in Informatics (INOI). The national round is held at Chennai Mathematical Institute. The selection camp had three tests of five hours duration. The Indian team is selected at the camp level and the programming contests are of the same level as IOI. This year, the national olympiad was held in February and the selection camp in June.

The international competition is held for two days and each day candidates have to solve three five-hour-long problems. Each problem has partial scoring and scores depend on how efficient the algorithm is. Each student is treated as an individual participant and not a member of any team, so their scores are individual scores.

Talking about his experience, Sodani said, “As a team, we bonded well. I already knew Paras and Sushil as they participated in the contest last year as well. This was the first time for Shreyan. I also knew them through online platforms.” The event was held online in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

In order to prepare for the international competition, the team used many online platforms and resources for practice including— Codeforces, AtCoder and CodeChef. These platforms have a rating system similar to that of Chess. It also has various titles such as masters, grandmasters and more. Sodani is an international grandmaster at Codeforces. The team also solved prompts from India and many different countries such as European countries, the US, Japan, Poland and more.

Courtesy : The Indian Express

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