So the NZOI January Camp 2018 finished last weekend, and I’m finally awake again and ready to write up a blog post!

This year, we had 28 students from incoming year 9 to outgoing year 13 travel from all over the country to attend camp at the University of Canterbury. Split into two groups - one learning how to program in C++, and one learning about various algorithms and techniques - the students had a week full of lectures and problem solving.

Thanks to Tim Bell, Neil Leslie, Richard Lobb, Alan, Suzanne, and Margot for keeping students entertained all day, and thanks to Michael, Iain, Harry, and Thomas for helping to answer the students’ innumerable questions during tutorial sessions. I think that all of the students learnt a lot - there’s a page on our training site where I can see that a good number of problems from every set were solved, and as I write this post more submissions are continuing to come in from enthusiastic students.

In an attempt to keep the students out of mischief, we had organised activities almost every night. The evenings were occupied by an informatics quiz (with problems from the Olympiad of Metropolises), some interesting short talks (on Steganography and Mo’s Algorithm), a technology challenge (competing to build the best balloon powered racer), a quiz night (round topics: Geography/History, 1980s, Literature/Music/Movies, Stevie Nicks, General Knowledge, and Logic), and many many card games (have you heard of Bartók?). Between this and an afternoon excursion to the swimming pool at Jelly Park, hopefully no one will be accused of sitting in front of a computer screen all week!

We unfortunately forgot to take a full group photo, but here’s one from the last night, with just the students from the algorithms group. My Photoshop skills aren’t quite up to fabricating a full group photo :P

camp photo

The students are now training for the upcoming AIIO and FARIO contests, after which the team will be selected to travel to the IOI’18 in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Thanks again to all the lecturers and tutors involved, thanks to Tom for help with contest problem writing, and thanks to Margot and Thomas for organising all of the things beforehand!

If you’re a student who didn’t go to camp, but who thinks this sounds fun, then participate in NZIC! It’s a free online competition, run throughout the year, with some problems approachable to newcomers and some hard ones to work towards. NZIC participants will be contacted towards the end of the year about selection for January Camp 2019.