CEOI 2017
24th Central European Olympiad in Informatics
July 10th-15th
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Interview with the winners of CEOI 2017

After the ceremony, we decided to ask this year’s winners a few questions. Since this year there were three winners and we only prepared for one we decided to ask them all the same questions. Unfortunately one of the winners, Andrei Popa had to excuse himself from taking an interview, as his team had to leave early. You can read the interview with the other two winners Anadi Agrawall (later Anadi) and Giorgi Kldiashvili (later Giorgi) down below.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Anadi: I’m Anadi, I’m from Warsaw in Poland and I’m 17 years old.

Giorgi: I’m Giorgi Kldiashvili from Georgia. I’m 17 years old and I’m a student at the Private Demirel college in Tbilisi, Georgia.

 

Are you excited that you’ve won? Were you expecting it after the first round of the competition?

Anadi: Yes, it’s amazing! After the first round I thought that I might have a chance but, I wasn’t sure till the end.

Giorgi: Yes, I’m very happy. I was kind of expecting it, but it was still a nice surprise, because it’s my first golden medal in the Olympics so I’m really happy right now.

 

Have you told your parents the good news already or are you waiting to come home and tell them in person?

Anadi: Well, I sent a message to my brother, so he probably informed the whole family before I’ll have the chance to.

Giorgi: Yes, I told my sister and my mother immediately after I found out and they were all really happy to hear the news.

 

Did you find the competition stressful?

Anadi: Yes, I don’t think it was as stressful as qualifying for this competition, but it was still stressful. We had a really good atmosphere in our team, so I think that helped with the stress that comes with any competition.

Giorgi: No, I didn’t find this week very stressful, because it’s really beautiful here in Ljubljana and everything we’ve seen this week made the stress kind of disappear. But I was still nervous before the contest today, because it’s still a competition, you have to compete against many talented people here and of course you want to win.

 

So, was this your first time participating in the CEOI? If not how did the previous years go?

Anadi: Yes, it’s my first time.

Giorgi: No, I’ve gone to CEOI last year too and I got a bronze medal. It was held in Romania last year and it was great too, but this year was of course better for me, because I’ve won. :) Also Ljubljana is very beautiful, the people here are friendly and the CEOI was very well organized this year. It seems that the tasks were easier this year, maybe because I’ve made progress since last year, but also last year all the contestants’ scores were much lower and now three of us got full scores in the end.

 

When did you first start learning programming and what inspired you to do so?

Anadi: I started to learn 3 and a half years ago, maybe and the reason why I started is because my friends participated in a team contest and they took me in as a consultant, because I was really good with physics and the competition combined math, physics and informatics, and I thought that maybe I could start learning programming as well so I could help my team a little bit more.

Giorgi: Maybe 4 or 5 years ago, when I was in 6th grade. I took extra classes with some of my classmates, because in Georgia we don’t have informatics as a subject in school, but there are some special schools which organize extra classes that you can join and learn programming and these classes are really strong and you can get a lot of experience and information from them. There is nothing precise that made me want to start programming. I was really interested in mathematics, so I started to visit extra classes in mathematics where I met some classmates who also took extra classes in informatics and I joined them, because I was interested in computers since I can remember, and then one thing led to another and here I am now. :)

 

Do you have any role models in the computer science world or was there anyone who really helped and inspired you to keep learning and not quit?

Anadi: The first person who inspired me to learn more and get better actually came here with us and is our team leader at the CEOI.

Giorgi: Hmm… all the teachers I’ve had mostly, the leader that is with us here at the CEOI, and many other talented people in Georgia, who are able to teach us so many things. Most of them were also participants in competitions like the CEOI, so they have a lot of experience and knowledge that they can share with us and also have an amazing passion to teach us.

 

Is there anything that you’re interested in besides programming?

Anadi: I really like playing football, even though I’m not that great at it, and I also like hanging out with my friends. I mean you can’t just be programing all the time because it gets a little bit boring.

Giorgi: I don’t know sometimes when I have free time I like to play basketball with my friends or hang out with them, I really like doing nothing some times, but really I don’t have that much free time on my hands to begin with.

 

Have you already made any plans for the future?

Anadi: I’m not sure yet. I will probably study computer science at the university, but I’m not sure if that’s all I want to do in the future. I’d love to mix programing and astrophysics for instance.

Giorgi: Well, I still have one year before going to a university, but I really want to go study abroad. I already applied to a couple of universities in the USA, where I also made the list of possible candidates so we’ll see. There’s still one more year of high school in front of me.

 

What would be your message for those out there who are thinking about learning programming?

Anadi: They just have to learn a lot and not stop even if they run into a problem or even if they see that others are better than them. Also, the best way to start learning programing is to start in a group, because there’s not just you thinking about how to solve one problem but an entire group and you can also ask anyone for help when you need it.

Giorgi: I don’t know, last year when I was here I didn’t think that I could one day win this competition, but now that I’ve won it and I’d probably say to them that everything is achievable when you work hard. So just work for your goals.

 

And a bonus question – would you ever like to come back to Slovenia as a tourist maybe?

Anadi: I think yes, because I really like this country, I think it’s very calm and compared to Poland, maybe a little bit cleaner. :)

Giorgi: Yes, I would definitely love to. One day I’ll come back here for a really wild weekend and see the nightlife of Ljubljana.

Well we would love to welcome you both back any time you’d like. Thank you for your time.

 

Lea & Rebeka