Malta won a bronze medal at the International Olympiad in Informatics 2004 held in Athens.

Maltese student Atanas Atanasov, studying at Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary school, was presented with the medal in a ceremony held on Friday evening at the Olympics complex in Athens.

The Maltese team consisted of four students selected in the Maltese National Informatics Competition held last June: Mr Atanasov, Ranier Bonnici, Karl Cassar and Stephen Fenech.

The Maltese National Informatics Competition had attracted about 20 bright Maltese students who were given two informatics problems to solve in an allotted period of time.

The International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) is a global event intended to showcase the world's best IT students under 20 who compete together in solving various informatics and computer science problems. Three-hundred students, selected from about 250,000 of the world's best informatics students from 80 different countries, took part.

Students have to independently solve two sets of three problems each, over two days. Problems are set by an international panel of leading informatics experts and approved by all team leaders around the world.

This year's competition involved various practical problems like finding the best way to cut a piece of material to minimise wastage, identifying particular biological sequences in a given text, creating schedules for efficient delivery of postal messages and optimising the allocation of limited resources to get the best results, among other problems.

Malta had previously won only one other medal at the IOI since it started participating in 1991 when Angelo Dalli had won a bronze medal at IOI 1995.

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