Talented decoders tackle world’s toughest puzzles in linguistics, logic and language
Ireland’s top young problem solvers pitted their wits against the languages of the world at the national final of the ADAPT All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad at Dublin City University on 24 March 2015.
The contest aims to identify Ireland’s leading young language decoders by challenging students to use their ingenuity to solve complex puzzles in unfamiliar languages. The prize for the top four sleuths is the opportunity to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad in Bulgaria in July 2015.
Run by the Science Foundation Ireland funded ADAPT Centre, the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) aims to inspire the next generation of multilingual technology graduates, who possess a combination of language competency and problem solving expertise.
From a starting line-up of 4,000 students from 161 schools in 29 counties, the top 125 code-breakers tested their wits in the national final. Competing individually and in teams, secondary school students engaged in a series of brain-teasing challenges such as unlocking the secrets of ancient scripts and deciphering numerical spy codes. Key requirements are computational thinking, analytical skills, and the ability to think “outside the box”.
Multilingual technology graduates are in strong demand in Ireland and beyond, particularly in the multi-billion euro digital content sector.
Olympiad national coordinator Dr. Cara Greene of ADAPT says, “The capacity to solve complicated problems is vital for students throughout their education and careers. This is especially the case for high tech careers. By developing students’ computational thinking in a fun way, the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad inspires students to consider the fascinating range of careers that combine computing, linguistics and language.”
Finalists received tuition from experts at ADAPT, a €110 million academia-industry research centre developing advanced technology to adapt and personalise digital content and services to the needs of global users. The winners will be announced next week.
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