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February 22, 2022

Oxford University Computing Challenge

Just before half term, 66 Paulines competed in the Oxford University Computing Challenge, having qualified through performing well in the Bebras competition in the Autumn term. 17 achieved merits (top quartile nationally) and 22 distinctions (top 10% nationally). Five of them – Fourth Formers Adavya Goyal and Anango Prabhat, Sixth Formers Victor Liu, Archie Macrae and Haolin Zhao – scored full marks earning themselves each a place in the final later in the term.

These were no mean feats; across the different age groups, just 76 students nationally achieved full marks, from over 13,000 entrants.

The tag of ‘first among equals’ for the finalists must go to Anango, though. Despite being in the Fourth Form, he scored his full marks in the “Elite” category, aimed at Years 12 and 13.

An example question (from last year’s challenge):

A row of diamonds need to be sorted by weight. We know the weight of all the diamonds. Write a program to figure out what the smallest subset of the diamonds is that actually needs to be sorted (i.e. being efficient and ignoring any of the diamonds at the beginning and end of the row already in their correct place).

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