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Top 200 problem-solving students compete in Oxford


Around 200 talented young people arrived at the University over two weekends in January and February to take part in the finals of a computational challenge held in the department and at Hertford College.

They were the top achievers from 132,000 students (from year 6 to year 13) who had taken part in the first round of a problem-solving contest held in UK schools. The questions set in the UK Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge, supported by Google, are inspired by topics in Computer Science, and students have to try and solve as many problems as possible in the allotted time. The contest is designed to get students excited about computing and computational thinking. The tasks can be solved without prior knowledge but instead require logical thinking.

There are six age categories. The highest scoring students from the four oldest age groups (Elite, Senior, Intermediate and Junior) were invited to the finals in Oxford.

After competing in the final challenge at Oxford, the winners were presented with medals and all finalists received certificates from Professor Peter Millican at Hertford College. They also had a chance to look round another college, and listen to talks about Oxford and computing.

Bebras is an annual event run across the world. Sample questions and more information can found at:

The results

Elite (years 12 and 13)

First: Harvey Yau from Ysgol Dyffryn Taf

Second: Jonathan Ralphs from The King’s School, Chester

Third: Patrick Winter from Barton Peveril Sixth Form College

Senior (year 10 and 11)

First: Sebastian Kreutz Wellsted from Dame Alice Owen’s School

Second: Linus Luu from St Olave's Grammar School

Joint third: Anton Fedotov from St Paul's School and Noah from Bassingbourn Village College

Intermediate (year 8 and 9)

First: Jonah Milnes from d'Overbroeck's

Joint second: Thomas Kan from Oundle School and Kai Sun from Comberton Village College

Juniors (year 6 and 7)

First: Amelia Panayiotides from Colyton Grammar School

Second: Ray Keemer from St Olave's Grammar School

Third: Haolin Zhao from St Paul’s Juniors