August 04, 2007

Results from ILO5

Drago Radev, the coach of the U.S. team that has just competed in the 5th International Linguistics Olympiad in St. Petersburg, Russia, reports that his two teams of American high-school students have triumphed in the competition. Fifteen teams of four people each participated in the Olympiad.

First, USA's Team 2 won the team contest in a tie with one of the Russian teams. The new world co-champions are Rebecca Jacobs of Los Angeles, Michael Gottlieb of Dobbs Ferry, NY, Josh Falk of Pittsburgh, and Anna Tchetchetkine of San Jose.

Second, Adam Hesterberg of Seattle (a member of USA's Team 1) won the individual contest with a huge point difference in front of everyone else.

Third, Jeffrey Lim, also a member of USA's Team 1, won a Best Solution award for problem 1.

The International Linguistics Olympiad is a direct descendant of the Olympiad of Linguistics and Mathematics, which was founded in 1965 in Moscow. High-school students compete by solving linguistics and logic problems based on natural language. The U.S. teams have funding from NSF, Google, and NAACL, as well as private funds from some of the students.

For a sample of the problems the teams are asked to solve, see Mark's post here.

A follow-up note via Blackberry from Drago Radev in St. Petersburg:

Adam had 90 points out of 100. The second highest score was 85.5 from Poland. Third was 78 from Russia. Fourth and fifth were tied at 76.5 from Bulgaria and Russia.

The Swedish team sang 2 great a cappella songs.

Adam is also part of the USA math camp. He is going to be a freshman at Princeton next year. The other two seniors on the team are going to Caltech and Cornell.

Rebecca is 15 and was at the LSA in Stanford earlier this year.

I was the coach for the two teams and Lori Levin of CMU and Amy Troyani of the gifted high school program in Pittsburgh were also part of the team's entourage.

This is the first time that a US team has been at the ILO.

Next year's contest will be on the Black Sea in Bulgaria.

Posted by Sally Thomason at August 4, 2007 03:34 PM