Taariq gets a gold medal

Whizz kid Taariq Mowzer, a Fairbairn College Grade 10 pupil, clinched the gold medal in the 34th South African Computer Programming Olympiad at Kelvin Grove in Newlands last week.

The computing fundi described the Mastermind question of the competition as “one of the most fun questions I have done”.

The competition saw 227 schools from all the nine provinces battle it out in the first round.

The initial field of 2 348 participants was reduced to 478 for round two and 13 pupils reached the finals with perfect scores.

Along with 12 other finalists, Taariq spent two days writing six computer programmes to solve problems. His solution to the the Mastermind problem, based on the 1972 board game, gave him the edge to win the prestigious Standard Bank Trophy and his gold medal at the awards dinner.

The guest speaker at the awards ceremony on Monday October 9 was Dr Judith Bishop, a distinguished computer scientist and author of 16 books on computer languages.

She said the competition sought to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding and not to be mere consumers of technology.

The medal winners will be invited to attend training camps, where they will also compete to qualify for the South African team of four to go to Japan in September next year for the 30th International Olympiad in Informatics.