Adrian O’Reilly, Crossabeg, a 6th year student in Coláiste Éamonn Rís, Wexford C.B.S. Secondary School, has won of the first ever Computational Thinking Challenge set by NUI Maynooth.
The competition, sponsored by Microsoft, was open to all students attending a secondary school in Ireland. There were over 2300 entries from 76 schools in 23 counties. The problem which is referred to as ‘The travelling salesman problem’ was first designed by an Irish mathematician in the 1800s. The challenge was to find the shortest route that connects 40 Irish towns in a closed loop, where each jump is at least 40km. There were 80 Irish towns and cities to choose from. Adrian, a past pupil of Crossabeg National School, found a path length of 1793km which is the shortest route that has ever been found for this problem.
The competition which has been ongoing over the past number of months was organised by the National University of Ireland, Maynooth to mark the launch with the launch of Maynooth’s new third level degree course, BSc in Computational Thinking. The course has been specifically designed to meet the demand from industry for graduates with strong analytical competence, problem-solving skills and the ability to think critically.
On Saturday April 28th, Adrian will be presented with 1st prize of an Xbox Kinect 360 at N.U.I. Maynooth’s University Day. A talk will be given on the whole area of Computational Thinking and there will be tours of the Computer Science Department afterwards.
Staff and students at the C.B.S. are extremely proud of Adrian’s wonderful achievement and wish him all the best in his future studies. Adrian hopes to become a Maths teacher and aims to pursue a degree in Mathematics Education in Maynooth after his Leaving Certificate.
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