Results (26 Aug 2002)

Right, I'm back from the IOI [warning: utter crap website]. I did pretty crap (about half way down I think). Partly because of a very depressing number of tiny, but critical, typos but mostly because I don't think I'm cut out for this timed algorithmic stuff. Give me a couple of days to think about something and I might come up with a decent algorithm. In 30 minutes it doesn't happen. I guess I could have done a lot better if I had just chosen poor, but simple algorithms - but that's not really in the spirit of the competition.

I'll have photos scanned at some point, both from my camera and Richard's (the UK team leader) very impressive digital camera. That will be in a week or so.

If I learnt one thing from my time in Korea it's this: Don't eat the Kimchi. Don't even ask about it.

The IOI was held at Khung Hee University in Yong-In, Korea. It's a very nice campus, even if some of the buildings are bad European architecture copies. You can dig up the schedule of events and stuff from the website linked to above.

It was superbly organised (with a budget of $2.2 million) to the point that our convoy of 24+ coaches (which took us everywhere) had a full police escort which closed off the roads ahead of us to let us pass.

The guards armed with guns that looked like they could stop a tank where a little worrying. As was the day when we came back to find about 100 riot police sitting on their shields and waving at us. The small number of protesters, who had been protesting about KHU's treatment of the hospital workers, had gone.

I've scanned the protester's flyer: side one, side two (help make your daily karma quota by reading it).

The translations of some of the Korean into English (the official IOI language) provided some good laughs. It seems that Korean doesn't have a concept the the definite article, which is why they often miss out `the' and 'a'. (do an impression and you'll see that you do the same.)

The next IOI (which I'll be too old for) is being held in the US. Unfortunately their major (only?) sponsor, USENIX, has dropped out. If your helpful company, with their huge amounts of cash-flow in these great economic times , would be interested in funding the US IOI I'm sure they would love to hear from you.

The day before I went to Korea was A-level results day. Got the results at 10:30, out with friends until 1am the next morning and was up to go to the airport at 5am. One manic day .

A-LevelFurther MathsA

A-Levels are the standard exam taken at 18. AEAs are super-A-levels which you don't study for (at least I didn't).

Those results easily get me into Imperial College.


I've yet to check what organisations (like EuroRights and Stand) have been doing on this front but I had a neat letter from my MP in the post when I got home. You can see the scan here:

I can assure you that I am sceptical of anything coming from the EU and, in your letter, you give good reasons why we should consider annulling this one - if we can!

I will, therefore, take the matter up once Parliament resumes and will write you you again then. In the meantime, [thank] you for alerting me to this important issue

The Conservatives are the second party in the UK (and Labour, the 1st party has a huge majority) so I'm not optimistic about getting this thing annulled. But at least we may be able to kick up a storm and raise the public perception.


It's nice to know that even people like Bruce Schneier have total brain farts sometimes too.

The idea is that different users on the system have limitations on their abilities, and are walled off from each other. This is impossible to achieve using only software

Question of the day

Will a random walk in discreet n dimensional space tend to cover the whole space, or only a fraction of it? If so, what fraction?

(P.S. I don't actually know the answer)