The 8th annual All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) competition final was held at Trinity College Dublin this month (15th March 2016). 100 students from 51 schools coming from 23 counties raced to solve linguistic problems and decipher numerical spy codes in the quest to become Ireland’s top young problem solver. The students now await the announcement of the national final results when four students will be selected to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad in India in July 2016.
Speaking about the competition, Professor of Computer Science at Trinity and Director of the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology, the organisers of the AILO competition said: “The next generation of leaders and problem solvers are here. The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad hones students’ problem solving, lateral thinking and language skills – key requirements in today’s globalised world. The combination of computational thinking and linguistics in a fun way inspires students to pursue third level studies at the intersection of computing, linguistics and language.”
The secondary school students from across Ireland took part in a face-to-face competition for the AILO final in Trinity. Using their ingenuity, creativity and skill to solve language-related problems, the students competed to decide who would become Ireland’s top young problem solver and who would go on to test their language decoding skills against the world’s best in India.
In preparation for the AILO final, researchers from the ADAPT Centre for Digital Content Technology visited schools earlier in 2016 to deliver training for students. A total of 437 students from 36 schools across Ireland attended 17 problem solving initiative workshops. The national competition has been met with enthusiasm by students and teachers alike and the success of the competition in Ireland is highlighted by Ireland’s hosting, by the ADAPT Centre, of the International Linguistics Olympiad in 2017 when 180 of the world’s top young linguistic problem-solvers will descend on Dublin City University.
In addition, a new Problem-Solving Initiative (PSI) aimed at enhancing the problem-solving ability of young people and raising awareness of these skills for society, the economy and science will take place in 2016 and culminate in a weeklong problem-solving festival in Dublin in July 2017.
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