‘Best world universities fight for them’: Kazan students return from IOI with gold medals
Two of the four Russian winners of the International Olympiad in Informatics are schoolchildren from Kazan, the Republic of Tatarstan
Lats week, the 35th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) finished in Hungary, where all four participants from Russia won gold medals. Two of them are students of lyceums in Kazan. The competition consisted of two rounds, 5 hours each. The participants were to solve and program three algorithmic tasks. As the Ministry of Education of Russia noted, the support of such students is an important job “in the conditions of the formation of the technological sovereignty of the country”. How the schoolchildren from Kazan coped with their tasks, what prospects this victory opens up for them, and who helped them achieve success — in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
“Golden” four from Russia
The Russian national team, which took part in the International Olympiad in Informatics, included two Kazan citizens — Gimran Abdullin, a student of the boarding school no.2, and Valery Rodionov, a graduate of the N.I. Lobachevsky Lyceum.
Besides them, there were two schoolchildren from Moscow in the team — Ivan Piskarev and Anton Stepanov. In total, representatives of 78 countries took part in the competition, the total number of schoolchildren reached 343 people. By the results of the championship, our students won gold medals, Valery got into the top twenty of the IOI.
“Our guys presented a wonderful gift to the mentors and the entire national education system by the beginning of the school year — four gold medals! This magnificent result proves once again that we have created an effective system for identifying and supporting talents, conditions have appeared all over the country for the development of children and the study of advanced technologies and scientific achievements. It is very important to continue such work in the conditions of the formation of technological sovereignty of the country, as well as the preparation of breakthrough solutions in information technology and other fields of science," Minister of Education of Russia Sergey Kravtsov congratulated the children and their teachers.
“This is the fourth winner from the lyceum”
Valery Rodionov has graduated from the 11th grade of the N.I. Lobachevsky Lyceum at the Kazan Federal University this year. He entered the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
The director of the educational institution, Elena Skobeltsyna, told about the achievements of the graduate:
“Only positive things can be said about Valery. He is a very responsible young man. They say that victory comes to the hardworking people, so he really is a very hardworking guy. Victory and success come to those who spread positive emotions around themselves and motivate others to achieve, help others. And this is all about Valery. He, being a student of the 11th grade, preparing for competitions of the highest level, including IOI, and for the qualifying stage for the Russian national team, always paid attention to our lyceum students who studied with him. Valery did not refuse attention and help. He is an amazing person. Kind, sympathetic, humane!”
According to the head of the lyceum, the Lyceum 2.0 Olympiad club operates in the educational institution. It prepares students for tests in a variety of subjects: “At our lyceum, this is a generally accepted trend. We believe that our most important merit is that we were able to build a system, a meaningful community of lyceum students, where everyone is responsible for each other and everyone helps each other to move forward.”
This year, 19 students of the lyceum became winners and prize-winners of the All-Russian Olympiads.
“The International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) enjoys authority all over the world. The best universities around the world fight for its winners. This has been our fourth victory in the competition since 2016. We have a lot of heroes. In 2016, Askhat Sakhabiev, a student of the Lobachevsky Lyceum, became an IOI prize-winner, then Kazan hosted the Olympiad for the first time. In 2019, the second place in this competition was won by Ildar Gaynullin, now the young man lives and studies in Canada. Ramazan Rakhmatullin won the International Olympiad in 2020. And in 2023, Valery Rodionov has become the winner," Elena Skobeltsyna noted.
“Generational change goes painlessly”
All the winners from the Lyceum named after. Lobachevsky was prepared for the Olympiad by the same teacher — well-known teacher, people's teacher of Tatarstan Sergey Mikhaylin. There is a computer science Olympiad preparation club in his office, and children from grades 6 to 11 study together, solve various tasks.
“In our lyceum, the change of generations goes painlessly. This is due to that the older ones teach the younger ones. There are a lot of guys, and I cannot lead the children in all parallels alone. I teach elementary school students for two years, and then they work with seniors, who in turn pass on their knowledge," the teacher said.
Sergey Mikhaylin believes that this year's Olympiad is similar to the previous ones and has been held as standard, only the tasks differed. The most difficult thing was to get into the Russian national team, he admitted:
“There were no problems performing at the Olympics itself — the guys themselves told about it. But it was hard to get into the national team, the selection was difficult. There were 25 candidates for the national team, it was necessary to get into the top four. This stage lasts for a whole week. The selection takes place in the form of a training camp. Valery was the first by its results.”
Behind the guy's back, there are many victories in various Olympiads. Only this year he has become a winner and prize-winner of many competitions. “He had a very good season, and he naturally won a gold medal," the mentor believes. Celebrating the victory, the guys are preparing for new championships. The work has already begun.
“The school Olympiads are the first, but they are too simple for our guys, they will be a test only for kids, but for those who are older, they are “like a picnic” by difficulty. And then in St. Petersburg in October, the semifinal of the All-Russian team Olympiad of schoolchildren in Informatics will be held, then in December — the final of this competition. Now we are forming teams and undergoing team training. Special training is needed here, since team competitions are different from individual ones, there are completely different tactics here. Then the Olympiads will be held quite often, we have no preparation for any particular one. We do this on a regular basis," said Sergey Mikhaylin.
“He is not like a regular Olympiad student”
Gimran Abdullin is the youngest member of the Russian national team. He graduated from the 9th grade of the Kazan Boarding Lyceum No. 2 and moved to the 10th. The boy moved to Tatarstan from Bashkortostan when he went to the 5th grade.
As the director of the educational institution, Bulat Giniyatullin, noted, the school is focused on gifted children, the entire education system here is built for Olympiad preparation:
“We are the first in Informatics Olympiads in the republic and not only. Gimran is a very well-mannered, purposeful, intelligent, educated guy. He had previously had achievements in Olympiads in Mathematics and Informatics. He is the winner of the All-Russian Olympiad in Informatics.”
In the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), a student of this Kazan Lyceum has won for the first time. Ilshat Safiullin, who has worked at this educational institution since 2007, has taught Informatics since the very beginning of Gimran's studies at school.
Gimran started studying Informatics in Ilshat Safiullin's class from the 6th grade. Already in the seventh, he became a prize-winner of the republican Olympiad, and in the eighth — All-Russian one.
“He's not exactly a regular Olympiad student. Not the way we most often imagine them — sitting quietly somewhere and solving problems. Gimran is not one of them. He is very active, diligent, open-minded, loves to play sports — football, basketball," the teacher said.