[BIO Logo] The British Informatics Olympiad is
the computing competition for schools and colleges.
We are proud to present BIO 2003, sponsored by Lionhead Studios.
Sponsored by Lionhead Studios
The 2003 British Informatics Olympiad

30 January, 2003

This year's British Informatics Olympiad (BIO), the national IT competition for schools, is due to begin soon and we would like to invite you to take part.

The BIO tests students' ability to solve problems against the clock and provides valuable experience as well as being enjoyable and challenging. It is open to all students who are under 19 and in full time pre-university education. Students do not need to be studying computer science to enter the competition; many of our top students in the past have been self-taught.

Entry into the competition is free thanks to the generous sponsorship of Lionhead Studios, widely regarded as the leading videogames developer in the UK, in an industry where the UK leads the world. The company's first game, Black & White, won many awards including 2 BAFTAs and topped the charts with a concept that changed gaming forever.

The main part of the BIO is a three-hour paper, set and marked in school, with programming tasks (to be solved on any computer and in any language), supplemented by short written questions. We aim to set a paper that will allow those with a little programming experience to solve at least one question, whilst differentiating between the most able contestants. A detailed mark scheme will be provided to enable you to mark the papers rapidly while requiring no specialist knowledge.

The top 15 contestants will be invited to the final, which will be held in Cambridge at the start of April. The top four finalists will win an expenses-paid trip to the USA in August, to represent Great Britain at the 2003 International Olympiad in Informatics.

If you want your school or college to enter, please fill in the application form, with an estimate of the number of students who might take part. The deadline for receipt of completed application forms is 7 March.

If you register early, we will e-mail the 2003 BIO paper to you on 11 February. If you register after this date, the paper will be sent within three days of us receiving your entry. You can hold the BIO any day from 11 February - 14 March 2001. The closing deadline for the return of marks, for students to be considered for the final, is 17 March.

Further information, including past/sample papers and mark schemes, can be found on our website: www.olympiad.org.uk. (An alternative URL, www.christs.cam.ac.uk/bio/, is available if you experience problems.) If you have any further enquires please do not hesitate to contact me directly, by email (Richard Forster) or telephone (07803 044741). I look forward to hearing from you soon. Yours faithfully,

Richard Forster
British Informatics Olympiad

The 2003 British Informatics Olympiad