Do you think you can use your ingenuity to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics, interpret Tenji (the Japanese equivalent of Braille), or break the code of an Armenian railway map?
The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) is a national contest in which secondary school students must develop their own strategies for solving complex problems. These problems are based on fascinating languages from around the globe. AILO is run by the ADAPT Centre.
More than 22,500 Irish students have competed in the Olympiad to date. The Problem-Solving Initiative will facilitate further growth of the Olympiad, including the introduction of regional problem-solving workshops for students and teachers.
No prior knowledge of linguistics or a second language is required, as even the hardest problems require only logical thinking, patient work, and a willingness to think around corners.
AILO introduces students to the application of logic and linguistics (i.e. the study of human language) to problems of language understanding and translation. The goal is to develop students’ problem-solving skills and to inspire them to consider the fascinating range of careers at the intersection of computing, linguistics and language.
A survey of participants of AILO 2018 finalists revealed that 89% of participants claim that the contest has helped develop their problem-solving ability, thus enhancing the lateral thinking skills necessary for STEM careers. 93% said they would consider studying STEM subjects at third-level, compared to 80% before the contest.
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For more on the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad, visit www.adaptcentre.ie/ailo