The revival of a mathematics and computer science contest

After a hiatus of 8 years, the second edition of the Gheorghe S. Nadiu mathematics and computer science contest for high-schoolers took place on 11th of May, 2019. But this didn’t happen by chance. The close collaboration between professors, volunteers, and local companies was needed. We sat down with the main organizer and with a member of the jury, to talk about how it all happened.

Ioan Fechete – Mathematics Associate professor at University of Oradea, the initiator and main organizer of the Nadiu contest

Professor Fechete, what inspired you to start this contest?

The idea of a mathematics contest came in 2011 when Oradea hosted the National finals of the Mathematics Olympics. Together with Dorel Luca, Mircea Balaj, Szabo Tiberiu, Omer Ismet, and Cristian Andru, we decided to organize a challenge for the student’s who didn’t make it in the national team. The name of the competition honors the late Gheorghe S. Nadiu, the former Director of the Department of Mathematics at the Faculty of Science of the University of Oradea.

Why did an 8-year break occur after the first edition?

As the first edition was a major success, we wanted to organize another edition the next year, but we were not able to find sponsors who would offer cash prizes to the winners.

How did you reboot the contest this year?

Knowing that Qubiz is involved in a handful of local educational and social projects, I approached Marcel Anghel to ask him to be sponsor and partner of the event.

As he accepted this role, the contest was organized in partnership with Qubiz, the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Oradea, the Bihor County School Inspectorate and the Bihor Branch of the Romanian Mathematical Society.

As a novelty, this year we decided to have two sections: Mathematics – an individual competition similar to the other Mathematics competitions, and Computer science – a team competition of IT projects. In both sections, the cash prizes were offered by Qubiz.

Tell us a bit about this year’s edition

The second edition of the “Gheorghe S. Nadiu” Mathematics and Computer Science Contest took place on 11th of May, 2019 at the University of Oradea. 38 students attended the Mathematics section, most of them being mathematical Olympians. The competition subjects were of high difficulty, being compiled by Dorel Miheţ from the West University of Timişoara and Mircea Balaj from the University of Oradea. Six teams participated at the Computer Science section. Their projects impressed the jury so much, that the committee decided to award each of them. The committee was composed by IT professionals from Qubiz, and professors from the Bihor County School Inspectorate and the University of Oradea.

What are the plans for future editions?

We want to organize the Gheorhe S. Nadiu contest annually, and also to extend it to an inter-county level. From now on, the competition will take place in the first semester of the school year, thus becoming

an excellent training opportunity for students preparing for the National Mathematics and Computer Science Olympics.

I am confident that with the continuous support of Qubiz, we can achieve these goals!

Alex, senior developer at Qubiz, jury at the computer science section

Why did you volunteer as a jury at the contest?

I believe we have to help the younger generations as much as we can, and a contest where high school students can present their projects and get feedback on it is a good start! This contest is also a great opportunity to see what ideas and solutions are others discussing. It creates an environment where everybody can grow.

How were the participants’ projects?

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all participating teams for their projects. The presentations were very well put together, and the detailed answers to the jury’s questions are proof that the students really did their homework. I also was impressed by the variety of projects. Students offered both software and hardware solutions for areas ranging from robotics to education.

What do you expect from the next edition?

I’d like to see more and more students participating with innovative and bold projects each year.

I hope that the Gheorghe S. Nadiu math and computer science contest will continue to be worthy of the name that it bears.

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