The spectacular opening ceremony of the 35th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI 2023) took place at the József Attila Study and Information Centre of the University of Szeged. IOI is the world's most prestigious competitive programming event for high school IT talents. The competition, which will last until Sunday, has attracted 360 contestants from 90 countries and around 300 international guides and guests.
This year, Hungary has won the right to organise the 35th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI 2023), which will be hosted in Szeged between 28 August and 4 September 2023. The opening ceremony was held on Tuesday, 29 August 2023, at the József Attila Study and Information Centre of SZTE. The event was officially launched by the organisers with the symbolic push of a button.
The University of Szeged is a co-organiser of the 35th International Olympiad in Informatics, providing a venue for various activities. SZTE was represented by Prof. Dr. Ildikó Csóka, Director General for Strategy of the Directorate General, who, in line with the tradition, welcomed the guests with bread and salt on behalf of the hosts, and also took part in the symbolic opening of the competition.
The competition started with a spectacular show, Photo by: Ádám Kovács-Jerney
Prof. Dr. Gábor Szabó, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for the University of Szeged, emphasised in his welcome speech that IT is a key factor in almost all fields of study. In his speech, he also mentioned a world-famous alumnus of the University of Szeged, whom he held up as a role model for young people.
- Katalin Karikó, a former student and now research professor at the University of Szeged, played a key role in the development of the mRNA-based vaccine against Covid-19. She said that in the course of her career it had happened that out of twenty attempts, not a single one had produced the right result, but the twenty-first was successful. Follow her example, and even if none of the 20 programs you have written works as you had imagined, keep working and you will surely get the results," said the former rector of the University of Szeged.
Gábor Szabó also spoke about the relationship between physics and informatics, Photo by Ádám Kovács-Jerney
At the opening ceremony, the organisers gave the international delegations a taste of Hungary’s cultural traditions and scientific achievements through folk art and music performances and by showing video films about Hungary and Hungarian Nobel laureates.
Gergely Fábián, Minister of State for Industrial Policy and Technology of the Ministry of Economic Development, pointed out in his speech that a competition is a celebration of talent, hard work and education.
Gergely Fábián making a statement at the opening ceremony of the 35th International Olympiad in Informatics, Photo by Ádám Kovács-Jerney
- I am proud to welcome the representatives and shapers of the future of computer science in Hungary. It is a great honour for us to be the host of the International Olympiad in Informatics on the 120th anniversary of the birth of János Neumann, because Neumann was a very important figure and one of the first great discoverers of this discipline. Computer science is the leading global force of our time and an indispensable part of our everyday lives, which is why it is as strategically important as the competition itself," stressed the State Secretary.
László Jobbágy, Chairman of the IOI 2023 Local Organising Committee, emphasised in his welcoming speech that it was first formulated about four years ago that it would be worthy to hold one of the world's biggest IT competitions in Hungary in the year of the 120th anniversary of the birth of János Neumann.
László Jobbágy, Photo by: Ádám Kovács-Jerney
-Hundreds of millions of students are seriously interested in programming, and probably all of them would like to have the same knowledge as the contestants. So those who will be representing their country in these eight days should be very proud of themselves. We have worked hard over the last four years to make sure everything works perfectly and everyone has a good time in the coming days. What I like most about computer technology is that cause and effect works there too: If you do something well, it will produce results. I hope that this will also be the case at the IOI 2023 and that we will all be satisfied on Sunday," said László Jobbágy.
Prof. Benjamin Burt, President of the IOI, stressed that it is the first IT Olympiad to be held entirely in person since 2019, as Covid has made the young programmers compete partly or entirely online. That is why this event is more than just a competition. It is an opportunity for people from different backgrounds and cultures to get to know each other. He particularly welcomed the participants who, despite the difficult situation in their home countries, were able to take part in the competition. In his speech, the president also pointed out that Hungary is an excellent venue for the competition due to its mathematical and IT heritage.
The competition days of IOI 2023 will be held on 30 August and 1 September at the Pick Arena and the final results will be announced there on 3 September. The closing ceremony will also feature the so-called IOI Flag Change, during which the home organisers will hand over the IOI flag to next year's organisers, namely the delegation from the Arab Republic of Egypt.
For more information, visit https://ioi2023.hu/
Opening ceremony of the 35th International Olympiad in Informatics at the TIK of SZTE, Photo by Ádám Kovács-Jerney