Irish competitors win medals in international Programming Olympics

9 Jul 2021
Winners and Irish team competing in the International Olympiad in Informatics. Back row: Andrew Nash, IOI team, Oisin Davey, Bronze Medal winner, Summer Hill College, Sligo, Professor Cormac Sreenan, Head of School Computer Science and Information Technology, UCC, Dr Sabin Tabirca, competition coordinator, School of Computer Science and Information Technology, UCC, Yanlin Mi, competition invigilator, UCC Student. Front row: Benjamin Murray, competitor, Sandford Park School, Dubin, Ayushi Mahajan, Christ King Secondary , Cork, Suneet Mahajan, Silver Medal winner, Douglas Community School.
  • Cork and Sligo-based students win medals at the International Olympiad in Informatic (IOI)
  • Winning team trained and mentored by University College Cork academic

Irish competitors have secured Silver and Bronze Medals at the International Olympiad in Informatic (IOI) - a competition globally renowned as the Olympics of Programming and widely considered as the most prestigious computer science competition for secondary school and high school students around the world.


The competition is one of five international science Olympiads held annually. Competitors from approximately 80 countries take part and must demonstrate exceptionally high skills in areas such as problem analysis, design of algorithms and data structures, programming, and testing.


This year Ireland saw success as Suneet Mahajan (Douglas Community School, Cork) secured a Silver Medal and Oisin Davey (Summer Hill College, Sligo) won a Bronze Medal at the IOI.


The team was trained and mentored by a team from the School of Computer Science and Information Technology, at University College Cork, led by Dr Sabin Tabirca. The team leaders included Bogdan Marcu, PhD student and Colm Hickey, BSc Computer Science graduate 2019 who currently works in Google.


Silver medal winner, Suneet Majan said:


“I'm personally thrilled with my result at the International Olympiad in Informatics this year. Last year, I ended up just shy of the Bronze Medal cut-off, so I was determined to build on that experience and to not go home empty-handed this time around. I managed to surprise myself after Day 1, where I thought I could've scored higher, and expected a lower ranking, when I found myself in Silver Medal range. I was satisfied with my Day 2 result, and with it, managed to consolidate a Silver Medal position.


“Although both of my participations at the international competition have been online instead of in-person in Singapore, simply being able to partake in such a competition has been like a journey in itself, and I've been able to meet people from all over the country as a result. Competing at AIPO and IOI has allowed me to discover topics in mathematics and computer science that would've been completely alien to me otherwise, and I'm really grateful for the opportunities I've been given to learn and polish my skills by these competitions,” Suneet said.


Commenting on the success, Professor Cormac Sreenan, UCC’s Head of Computer Science, said that the hard work of the team, trainers and organiser Dr Tabirca were the critical component in the impressive result, which bodes really well for the next generation of computer science students.


Professor John O’Halloran, Interim President UCC, said:

"On behalf of the entire University I wish to offer congratulations to the successful competitors and Dr Tabirca on their medal victories. As the Olympics of Programming, the International Olympiad in Informatics sets the global standard, and it is a testament to the calibre of teaching in UCC's School of Computer Science and Information Technology that young people under our guidance should stand out in such a competitive field. Dr Tabirca has made a lifetime commitment to mentoring and supporting students and we are grateful for his commitment and leadership at this global programming event."


Dr Tabirca also led a team who performed very well in the 1st European Girls' Olympiad in Informatics, which took place in June 2021.


The team of Ayushi Mahajan (Cork), Katerin Birk (Bandon) and Abby Luna Garvey (Limerick), were headed up by team leader Andrew Nash.


For more on this story contact:

For further information contact Derbhile Timon, School Manager, UCC Computer Science and Information Technology.



School of Computer Science and Information Technology

Scoil na Ríomheolaíochta agus na Teicneolaíochta Faisnéise

School of Computer Science and Information Technology, Western Gateway Building, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork, Ireland