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Big Brains Flock To Baku For Math & Computer Science Competition

By Gunay Hajiyeva August 8, 2019


Students try to solve problems they were given at the 2018 International Olympiad in Informatics in Japan / OIO2018.Jp

Over 600 students, teachers and experts from 88 countries arrived in Baku this week for the International Olympiad in Informatics, one of the world’s most prestigious annual computer sciences competitions.

“I do hope that the Olympiad will contribute to the identification of new talents in the field of informatics, further strengthen the interest of young people in computer science and expand the ranks of participating countries," the First Vice President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva said in a letter addressed to the participants of the event.

“The International Olympiad in Informatics opens up new horizons for you. This competition of knowledge, which occupies a special place among the most prestigious contests, will certainly have a serious impact on the realization of your desires and determination of your life path,” the letter continued, according to

In 2015, Azerbaijan won the right to host the event. Now in its 31st season, the International Olympiad in Informatics has been held previously in Kazakhstan, Russia, and Iran. Last year it was held in Japan.

Each participating country brings a team of up to four contestants to the event, along with a team leader and a deputy leader. During each of the competition days, high school students work to solve three algorithmic problems within five hours. Each member of a national team competes individually, and the individual scores are tallied for a national total. The problem sets are typically prepared by a special committee of informatics experts and undergo repeated checks. 

“Therefore, there is practically no probability of problems in connection with questions at the International Olympiad in Informatics. Even if they arise, the international organizing committee will issue a decision on the issue,” Azerbaijan’s education minister Jeyhun Bayramov said according to Azernews.

This year’s event runs from August 4 through Sunday, however, the results of the competition are announced on August 9. 

Azerbaijan’s team this year consists of three students from the 10th grade and one from the 11th. This year’s event comes after Azerbaijan has won five medals, including one silver and four bronze.

Over the past six years, Azerbaijani students have won a total of 160 medals in various international informatics and programming competitions. In 2018-2019, they have scooped one gold, 13 silver, and 23 bronze prizes in the international contests of that kind.

The 2020 International Olympiad in Informatics will take place in Singapore, followed by Egypt in 2021 and Indonesia in 2022.