Irish teen takes home bronze in International Olympiad in Informatics

23 Jul 2014

Richard Tynan accepts his bronze medal at the International Olympiad in Informatics in Taipei, Taiwan

On his third try at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), 19-year-old Richard Tynan has returned to Ireland from Taiwan with a bronze medal.

The 26th IOI was held in Taipei, Taiwan, from 13 to 20 July. The event represents the pinnacle of computer programming at secondary-school level.

More than 300 students from 82 countries attended this year’s IOI to solve six highly complex algorithmic problems over two days. Many of those in attendance were self-taught in programming techniques generally introduced to students in their third year of studying computer science at university level.

Tynan, from Cistercian College, Roscrea, Co Tipperary, had been selected along with three other students to represent Ireland in the international challenge. He is no stranger to the competition, either.

“This is my third and final year attending the IOI and I was determined to win a medal,” he said.

The All Ireland Programming Olympiad (AIPO) selected Ireland’s representatives through various rounds of competitive programming.

“I’m going to miss coming to the IOI now that I’m starting college. It’s been a wonderful experience visiting Taiwan and making new friends from around the world,” added Tynan.

Gary Conway led the Irish delegation in Taipei and is delighted with Tynan’s win of Ireland’s first IOI medal in five years.

“To put it in perspective, the UK, Spain and Hungary also only received one bronze medal, so when you compare these populations, Ireland is definitely punching above its weight,” he said.

Tynan has been invited to study computer science at the University of Cambridge in the UK, while fellow participant Conor Griffin plans to enrol in Dublin City University in September. Meanwhile, Áron Hoffman and Daniel Mulcahy are determined to compete at the 2015 IOI in Kazakhstan.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.