The Australian team was the winning team from the National Round, coming for the Presbyterian Ladies College in Melbourne, VIC. The team was composed of Samantha Hauptman, Michelle Jayasuriya, Carmen Wu and Sally Yu. They arrived from Melbourne with their teacher, Mrs Susan Knopfelmacher, and we all met at the Stockholm Central Station on Friday 16 July before going to the Ostra Real.
Susan’s daughter, Stephanie, joined us and stayed with us for most of the competition. We had been asked to take under our wing 3 of the USA team members who also arrived earlier (from Korea and Kazaghstan). On Friday evening, we all went out to dinner with the ILO local organisers, Hediwg and Roos, who had done a fantastic job under very difficult financial conditions. Here is a synopsis of each day’s experiences.
Training session in the morning with an old ILO team problem, which the team finds very difficult (Chinese transcription problem); tourism in the afternoon; more training in the evening
More training for the Australian team with me in the morning. They finally have solved the Chinese problem. In the afternoon, Patrick Littel ran a session on teamwork for the teams from the USA, Australia, Singapore and India.
More training with Patrick Littell running a very useful game based on the Swedish subway system in the morning and a session on morphology in the afternoon. Tourism in-between. The other teams arrived from the rest of Europe. We meet everyone at the opening session in the evening.
Individual contest: 5 problems in 6 hours. Most contestants found it easier than they expected, the jury thought it was too easy. In the afternoon, the Australian team wanted to visit the very large Stockholm IKEA store and we had a little expedition with Patrick Littell and most of the USA teams. Lecture in the evening on field linguistics.
Excursion day; beautiful weather.
Team contest. 4 hours. Extremely difficult: Mongolian dictionary. Rumour has it that the best team could only solve 30% of the problem. Most teams despair but they still had a good time. Relax in the evening. Lecture in the evening on computational linguistics.
Final session where the problems were explained and prizes awarded.
Lessons from the ILO 2010
The team was better prepared this year than in 2009, thanks to ALS and Melbourne Unit. Still need to provide more training before the ILO.
The teacher helped organise the trip and chaperoned the students during the flights, while I took over and did the training and went with the students during the competition. This division of labour worked very well.
Michelle was awarded an ‘honourable mention’.
The team performed much better in both individual and team events. They really enjoyed the challenge and are keen to try again next year.
Report by OzCLO Chair, Dr. Dominique Estival