Shrewsbury Year 12 student and computational thinking extraordinaire Thien Udomsrirungruang has finished an astonishing third place in the global ‘Bebras Challenge’
Thien qualified for the final, hosted at Hertford College, University of Oxford following his performance in the initial round where he finished in the top 60 competitors across the world, and where no less than 5 Shrewsbury students finished in the top 10%.
The Bebras competition is an international initiative aimed at promoting ‘informatics’ and computational thinking in young people. With the increased demand for software engineers and designers in the modern workforce, nurturing essential problem-solving skills amongst the next generation of developers has become a key priority.
The overall aim of the Challenge is to solve as many problems as possible within the allotted time-frame, but as you’d expect, the question provides a real test for the participants. Thien, however, proved he was more than up to the task, scoring an impressive 245 points out of a possible 273 in the final round, and finishing just six points off the overall winner. Obviously delighted with his effort, Thien explained;.
“The questions were considerably tougher than the first round, but I felt they were still quite doable, it just required a little more concentration”.
In addition to the Challenge itself, the 60 finalists were also invited two lectures aimed at broadening their horizons before the next step up to university. The first of these was about simulating real-world problems with simple programs, and the other described the process of building a computer application from the ground up. The students also had the opportunity to join a special tour of Hertford College – food for thought before university applications next year, perhaps?
Assistant Principal (Head of Academics), Mr Rob Groves, described Thien’s achievements as a ‘cracking effort’ and praised both his ability and characterstic application throughout the Challenge.
“Thien is a really committed student, and it is particularly satisfying to see him succeed in the way he has done here at the University of Oxford – excellent work!”
If you think you are good enough to answer one of the Bebras questions, why not have a go at this tester?