Mastermind with the master plan
FAIRBAIRN College Grade 10 pupil Taariq Mowzer has been crowned the winner of the 34th South African Computer Programming Olympiad.
The 16 year old competed against 12 other finalists and spent two days writing six problem-solving computer programs.
His solution to the the Mastermind problem gave him the edge to win the prestigious Standard Bank Trophy and a gold medal. Following Mowzer in second place was Stellenbosch High Grade 11 pupil Tian Cilliers and Ralph McDougall, a Grade 11 pupil from Curro Durbanville. King David Victory Park (Gauteng) Grade 12 pupil Jordan Arenstein along with Woodridge College (Eastern Cape) Grade 12 pupil Donal Davies and Parklands College matric pupil Emile Tredoux shared the third place.
A total of 227 schools from all nine provinces participated in the first round.
Yesterday Mowzer said: “I was quite overjoyed when I found out that I came first in the competition.
“I was told afterwards that I only took the lead in the last 15 minutes of the Day 2 paper.
“I’ve known how to program for a while now, so the training for the Olympiad equated to learning algorithms and implementing them quickly.
“Luckily the week before the Olympiad was the school holidays; in which I did a five-hour paper every day. The competition was challenging but fun overall.
“I hope to participate and do well again next year.”
Computer scientist and author of 16 books on computer languages Dr Judith Bishop was a guest speaker at the awards ceremony.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Fairbairn College Grade 10 pupil Taariq Mowzer and Standard Bank head of investment banking technology Nicole Borges at the South African Computer Programming Olympiad award ceremony.