PH finals to pick team roster as programming Olympiad goes online

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After nabbing a bronze medal in last year’s International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), the organizers behind the country’s participation in the prestigious contest are wasting no time to put together the best team to challenge the world in programming.

This, as the National Olympiad in Informatics – Philippines (NOI.PH) Finals kick off this August 8 to serve as the selection phase to determine the official representatives for this year’s IOI. The NOI.PH is an annual programming contest for Filipino high school students. The winners who will compose the national team will be announced on August 9.

Last year, Dan Alden Baterisna from De La Salle University Senior High School won a bronze medal at the 31st IOI held on August 4-11, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. He was joined by Dion Stephan Ong from the Ateneo de Manila Senior High School, Steven Reyes from Saint Jude Catholic School, and Ron Mikhael Surara from Philippine Science High School – Bicol Region Campus.

The IOI is a competitive programming competition for secondary school students from more than 80 countries a year. It involves a series of individual contests on computer programming, hence, each participant is awarded a medal depending on his/her final score. Last year’s IOI tallied a total of 322 participants from 83 countries.

For the NOI.PH, 30 finalists look to battle for the precious spots in the national team roster. The top two students in the NOI Finals will automatically take the first two slots. The remaining two slots will be chosen based on their performances in the NOI Training season.

Because of the pandemic, the NOI.PH Finals — and possibly, the training season — will be done online.

Marte Soliza, who is among the organizing minds of NOI.PH, is positive that the competition will promote programming as an expertise among the youth.

“In this digital age, you need computational thinking to thrive. Cultivating that is one of our goals as we train high school students and challenge them in the NOI Finals. Although there are unfamiliar challenges to overcome, we are fortunate enough to push this event through despite the pandemic,” Soliza said.

He also cited the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) for backing the competition and the country’s participation in the IOI. “We thank the DOST-SEI for their timely support without which we might’ve fallen from our crutches,” he said.

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