Croatian Students Win Two Silver Medals at ACSL All-Star Contest 2017

As all eyes were fixed on the match between Croatia and Mexico in Los Angeles last night, a different kind of national team from Croatia also had a big win in the US

The XV Gymnasium from Zagreb, better known as MIOC, participated at the international competition in computer science ACSL All-Star Contest 2017, reports Večernji list on 28 May, 2017.

Mentored by their professor Nikola Dmitrović, the MIOC students ended up winning two silver medals, missing the gold by just one point.

"[The competition] left a bit of a bitter taste because we didn't end up first, but as time goes by, we're more and more pleased. We have a nice continuity of winning medals every year from 2013. The senior team lost the title by just one point: they had 109 out of the total 120, and the winners had 110. Our second team had bad luck, as one student wrote down the results in the wrong order, so we lost the three crucial points we needed to get the gold", said Dmitrović.

Starting from 2013, the MIOC teams won a total of 11 medals at the ACSL tournaments: silver and bronze in 2013, gold and silver in 2014, two golds in 2015, two golds and bronze in 2016, and two silvers this year. Every final sees about 20 high school teams, selected from a total of 200 schools that participate in the preliminary competition.

"They finally remembered us and realised XV means 15; everybody was approaching us to congratulate the team. This year, the head presenter of the competition talked to out students for the first time, asking them how they manage to be so good and what's our secret", said Dmitrović. What is the secret, really? "Work, intellect and very good students."

He added he considers this a great personal success as well. "It's hard to maintain continuity. Once we start with preliminary rounds, we practise a lot and only then you become aware of how much work the whole thing entails. Every year you get new first graders and there's a lot they don't know yet. This competition builds on previous basic knowledge. Three of our students are part of the Croatian team of four who are heading for the world olympics in Iran this year."

Professor Dmitrović and his students will visit the well-known Caltech university in Pasadena on Tuesday, followed by a flight back home on Wednesday.

Here's a list of outstanding students winning medals for Croatia this year:

Senior 5 Team: Ivan Stjepanović (3rd grade), Paula Vidas (3rd grade), Petar Nizić-Nikolac (3rd grade), Marin Knežević (4th grade), Robert Benić (4th grade)

Intermediate 5 Team: Til Ocvirk (1st grade), Gabriel Jambrošić (2nd grade), Fabijan Bošnjak (2nd grade), Juraj Marušić (3rd grade), Vilim Lendvaj (3rd grade)

Congratulations to the MIOC team for their remarkable achievement!