SATURDAY 18.09.2004

Question of the day to...The Iron Ladies of IOI2004

All is well, that ends well?

Katerina Georgouli and Ifigeneia Founta were two of the most visible figures of IOI 2004. Co-chair of the Organizing Committee and chair of the Technical Committee, respectively, they were here, there and everywhere, at the same time! The tasks of the two TEI of Athens professors were of Herculean proportions and they were both exhausted but satisfied on Friday night, when the lights on the stage were finally switched off.

All is well, that ends well? was the question posed to them. Katerina Georgouli smiles - she is not a first timer, as she has been involved in IOIs since 1991, when Greece organized the 3rd IOI, as well as in every national contest in Informatics. She has been a deputy leader, then leader of the Greek team in every Olympiad since then, except this one, where she co-chaired the OC with Spyros Bakogiannis. In comparison with the previous Olympiads, she told us, we fared well. I think that all our guests left quite satisfied, having spent a wonderful week in Greece. Sure, there had been a few weak points, mainly due to restrictions in preparation time (because of the Athens Olympics, where it was used as one of the Olympic Press Villages, the venue was handed over to the IOI just a few days before the opening ceremony), but we managed to resolve the main problems.

The weather was fine, the excursions were very successful, volunteers did their best to help the national teams. What else would I wish? Just a little more time, so we could prepare better and the guides would spend more time with their teams…

Ifigeneia Founta was also relieved - the technical part of IOI flowed as smoothly as she could have wished. "We had studied carefully and planned everything in advance" she explained, before describing the various networks she and her team of 40 highly skilled engineers, technician and graduate students from TEI of Athens had put up and run: the contest network of 320 exactly the same PCs along with their server, the evaluation network of 20 more with their server as well, the translation network of 80 PCs, the Internet cafe network, the administration network...

Most of them had to run in a highly secure environment, with both Linux and Windows operational programs and applications running simultaneously. They had started from scratch and did wonders, including the reduction of the time needed to completely re-install the environment after each test from several hours to just a few minutes... All in all, it was a very demanding job, under great pressure, in which the TEI team excelled and was warmly congratulated upon completion.