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Students Continued to Shine at International Meets Despite COVID-19; Singapore to Host IOI 2021

In view of the COVID-19 situation, international competitions in 2020 could not carry on as per normal1. Instead, many were reformatted to allow countries to participate virtually, giving students the opportunity to continue pursuing their passions through these competitions.

2. In Singapore's case, for example, our students continued to fly our flag high at the International Olympiads for the Sciences, Mathematics and Informatics, as well as the New Zealand Young Physicists' Tournament, held virtually from July to September 20202.

3. The International Olympiad of Informatics (IOI) was also held in Singapore for the first time in September this year, organised by the National University of Singapore (NUS). President Halimah Yacob was the Guest-of-Honour for the virtual opening ceremony, while Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat was the Guest-of-Honour for the virtual closing ceremony. Following the successful hosting of IOI 2020 by NUS, Singapore will also be the host for IOI 2021.

International Biology Olympiad (IBO) Challenge 2020

4. Although this year's IBO was cancelled, a special IBO Challenge was still organised. The Singapore team garnered one Gold medal and three Silver medals at the remotely-conducted IBO Challenge 2020 from 11 to 12 August 2020. The students performed a diverse range of complex tasks, such as reconstituting and drawing the shape of a structure based on photographs, plus accessing an online Bioinformatics database to input specific DNA/amino acid sequences and search for sequence alignments based on specific thresholds and parameters. Singapore ranked 5th in a field of 47 countries/territories with 186 participants.

Gold medallist
  • Dewey Lin Ziwei, Raffles Institution
Silver medallists
  • Qiu Xinzhi, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
  • Tan Cheng Yat, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
  • Kate Lu, Raffles Institution
Led by
  • Dr Beverly Goh, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
  • Dr Ng Ngan Kee, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore
  • Ms Izavel Lee Shu Yih, Singapore Institute of Biology
  • Dr Dominic Heng Jian Chien, Ministry of Education

*Refer to https://ibo2020.org for more information on the IBO.

52nd International Chemistry Olympiad (Icho)

5. The Singapore team secured three Gold medals and one Silver medal at the remotely-conducted IChO held on 25 July 2020. Students explored an interesting range of theoretical tasks, such as total synthesis of an organic compound isolated from the plant catnip, and the thermodynamics of H3BO3 sublimation obtained from a reaction between diborane and water in a hypothetical universe. Singapore was placed joint 3rd in a field of 60 countries/territories with 231 participants.

Gold medallist
  • Sean Leong Kar Weng, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
  • Windle Charles Jordi, Raffles Institution
  • Jovan Liau Yi Jun, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
Silver medallists
  • Ngwan Teng Wei, Raffles Institution
Led by
  • Dr Tan Wee Boon, Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore
  • Dr Hoang Truong Giang, Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore
  • Ms Clarissa Ng Jia Le, Ministry of Education

*Refer to https://icho2020.tubitak.gov.tr for more information on the IChO.

61st International Mathematical Olympiad (Imo)

6. The Singapore team won four Silver medals and two Bronze medals at the IMO held virtually from 19 to 28 September 2020. The students were tasked to solve six challenging problems, including one inspired by the current social distancing measures imposed around the world. Singapore was placed 16th amongst 105 countries/territories with 616 participants.

Silver medallists
  • Aloysius Ng Yangyi, Raffles Institution
  • Tan Xu Chen, Raffles Institution
  • Hu Xinghui, Raffles Girls’ School
  • Tan Wee Kean, Raffles Institution
Bronze medallists
  • David Toh Hui Kai, Raffles Institution
  • Low Choo Ray, Raffles Institution
Led by
  • Associate Professor Wong Yan Loi, Department of Mathematics, National University of Singapore
  • Mr Lu Shang-Yi, Raffles Institution

*Refer to https://www.imo2020.ru for more information on the IMO.

32nd International Olympiad in Informatics (Ioi)

7. The Singapore team clinched three Silver medals and one Bronze medal at the IOI organised by NUS from 13 to 19 September 2020. As host, Singapore also sent a second team which clinched one Silver medal and two Bronze medals. During the competition, students faced challenging computational problems which tested their ability to design and implement efficient algorithms and data structures. Based on the first team's results, Singapore was placed joint 19th in a field of 87 countries/territories with 343 participants.

Silver medallist
  • Ashley Aragorn Khoo, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
  • Benson Lin Zhan Li, Hwa Chong Institution
  • Daniel Choo Zhenghao, Raffles Institution
  • Shen Xing Yang, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
Bronze medallists
  • Tan Si Jie, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
  • Daniel Toh Jing En, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
  • Lim Rui Yuan, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
Led by
  • Dr Suhendry Effendy, School of Computing, National University of Singapore
  • Mr Zhang Guangxuan, National University of Singapore
  • Mr Clarence Chew Xuan Da, National University of Singapore
  • Mr Li Da, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science

*Refer to https://ioi2020.sg for more information on the IOI.

New Zealand Young Physicists' Tournament (Nzypt) 2020

8. As the 33rd International Young Physicists' Tournament (IYPT) was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Singapore team was invited to participate in the NZYPT 2020 instead by the New Zealand Local Organising Committee. The Singapore team emerged 1st in the tournament, held online from 10 to 12 July 2020. During the tournament, students presented their research on problems related to everyday phenomenon, and were engaged in discussions and counter-solutions with the opposing teams. The problems included investigating the characteristics of sounds produced by a toy consisting of a corrugated plastic tube that was spun around.

Team members
  • Alphonsus Low Khee Ern, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
  • Chen Yanlin, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
  • Christopher Ong Xianbo, Hwa Chong Institution
  • Matthew Yar Kwok Jway, Raffles Institution
  • Mikail Firas Abdul Jabbar, Raffles Institution
  • Samuel Foo Enze, Raffles Institution
  • Sankar Jaikumar, Raffles Institution
  • Tan Jun Wei, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science
Led by
  • Associate Professor Paul Lee Choon Keat, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
  • Assistant Professor Tsao Hoi Nok, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
  • Dr Wee Wei Hsiung, DSO National Laboratories
  • Mr Sze Guan Kheng, Raffles Institution
  • Ms Nur Zuhailah Binte Hanafi, Ministry of Education
  • Ms Kee Zhiyin, Ministry of Education

Footnotes
  1. For example, the International Physics Olympiad and the International Young Physicists’ Tournament were cancelled this year.

  2. Our students' participation in these international competitions is a joint effort between MOE and the following organisations: Singapore Mathematical Society; Singapore Institute of Biology; Institute of Physics, Singapore; DSO National Laboratories; Singapore National Institute of Chemistry; National University of Singapore; and National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University.

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