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What's Happening in CS in Other Countries

I am part of the organisation that trains and selects students to represent New Zealand at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI). We attract some government funding by circuitous routes for the students to attend, but none for the leaders. Last year was our country's best overall performance at the Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Informatics Olympiads, and the suggestion was made that we analyses the results, hopefully helping our case for fundraising.

I enlisted the help of a student during our summer camp and gave him the results for the last three Informatics Olympiads. I asked him to weight the gold, silver, and bronze medals won appropriately and then rank the country on performance with respect to population size.

Naturally India and China don't look so good when you do that and adjusting by population is a bit spurious! But, in those three years, the same 10 countries were always in the top 10.

They are, in alphabetical order: Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Singapore and Slovakia.

Nine of these are ex soviet block countries and I claim to know nothing much about them, with the exception of a little about Lithuania. Lithuania has a small band of people who work tirelessly within the education ministry (they have a centralized education system) to promote computer science, one of whom, Valentina Dagiene, attends the IOI. She has an impressive record of advocating for informatics, teaching, and producing textbooks for high schools.

If you know of the education systems in these other countries, or the state of CS in their high schools, we would love to know more. Please share you information with us by commenting!!

Margot Phillipps
CSTA International Director

Comments

There is an opportunity for a lot of input on this topic at the ACM SIGCSE sponsored ITiCSE conference in Darmstadt, Germany this coming June.

Peter Hubwieser posted this request on the SIGCSE mailing list for folks (including those in the US) to help out:
"a working group about Informatics in secondary education to the ITiCSE 2011 conference, which will take place in Darmstadt at June 27-29.

We are happy to inform you that the working group was accepted, see:

http://www.iticse2011.tu-darmstadt.de/wgs/wg2


Thanks to all colleagues who have supported the proposal during the submission period, particularly to Barbara Owens , who was the “spiritual mother” of the idea originally.

Meanwhile all preparations are finished and the application period has started. Therefore I invite you cordially to participate in the working group. The preconditions are the following:

- you should be an expert in the field of Informatics in secondary schools (students from 11-19, general education),

- you should be willing and able to spend some time on the work for the group,

- you will attend the ITiCSE 2011.

A more detailed description of the group is attached and also published on the website of the ITiCSE 2011.

In the case you want to contribute, please send your application to peter.hubwieser@tum.de not later than March 25, 2011.

Of course we would be happy if you could forward this call to other colleagues who might be interested.

We are advised to accept from 5 to 10 “official” members, which should come from as many different countries as possible. The accepted members will be notified immediately after the application deadline will have passed.

Nevertheless we welcome every contribution to the work of the group from other colleagues who don’t want to be “official” members, e.g. because they are not able to attend the ITiCSE."

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