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Olympiad after pure maths  

2013-08-28 17:18:23|  分类: Cherson |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Meaningless to the uninitiated, the strange symbols cluttering the kids' screens are actually mathematic codes they're designing to tell their computers what they want them to do. zebra 2844Describing this process in lay terms is a challenge in itself, but Dr Ben Burton - who designed Australia's informatics training program - does his best when we meet a few days before the 25th annual IOI gets underway in Brisbane. "The world is beset by insanely hard problems involving the processing of enormous amounts of data," says the University of Queensland maths lecturer in a campus cafe.

"To deal with these problems you need not just programmers, who can tell computers to do what someone else has told them to tell the computers to do, but also creative coders, who can dream up what it is that the programmers need to tell the computer to do ... the hard part isn't the programming, but the mathematics underneath it."

Burton fixes me with his penetrating blue eyes: "Are you following?"

International high school-based competitions are nothing new. Since 1959, the world's brightest young minds have been pitted against one another in UNESCO-sanctioned International Science and Mathematics Olympiads involving biology,wall storage units chemistry, physics and pure mathematics (in which Burton, 38, was once a gold medallist for Australia), but informatics didn't become part of the program until 1989. Australia began competing in 1999, and since then informatics has jumped other disciplines to become the second-largest Olympiad after pure maths.

But it's still not widely taught in Australian school curriculums. "So one of the challenges for us is finding the students who are interested," says Burton, Food label a member of the IOI's international scientific committee, which devises the problems contestants must solve. In Australia, students with a flair for informatics are often self-taught.

"They're the ones who sit up in their bedrooms until midnight teaching themselves how to code and uncode," notes Burton. "Even then, by the time we get them to the training school [held annually in Sydney and Canberra], they'll be good at programming, but may not realise that these mathematic problems beneath the code even exist ... it's very eye-opening: this whole area of science they didn't know existed. And some of them just love it, and turn out to be very, very good at it Shade Pole ac motor."

The fundamentals of the science are algorithms (procedures for solving complex mathematical problems), and data structures (methods of storing and organising information within a computer so it can be used efficiently). Informatics underpin the success of Google, eBay, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter, and its practitioners are increasingly sought by all major industries with a need to find patterns or configurations within vast amounts of data. teco geared motor
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