US teams win ILO 2007

Team USA Earns Laurels at International Linguistics Olympiad

American students have won high honors in an international linguistics
competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. The World Champion in the
individual competition is Adam Hesterberg, a 2007 graduate of Garfield
High School, Seattle, WA.

Eight high school students from the USA competed in the Fifth
International Linguistics Olympiad in St. Petersburg, Russia from
August 1 through 4, 2007. The top overall winner in the individual
competition was Adam Hesterberg, of Seattle, WA. Jeffrey Lim of
Arlington, MA received top prize for the best solution to one of the
problems. One US team of four students won the top prize in the team
competition in a tie with a Russian team.

The winners of the team competition were Rebecca Jacobs of Los
Angeles, CA, Joshua Falk of Pittsburgh, PA, Michael Gottlieb of Dobbs
Ferry, NY and Anna Tchetchetkine, of San Jose, CA.

Other American team members were Rachel Zax and Ryan Musa, both of
Ithaca, NY. Rachel Zax is also the top prize winner of the US National
Competition and Ryan Musa is the second prize winner. The US teams
were coached by Dr. Dragomir Radev, of the University of
Michigan. Dr. Lori Levin of Carnegie Mellon University, and Dr. Amy
Troyani of Taylor Allderdice High School, Pittsburgh, PA, also
provided leadership for the teams.

Altogether 16 teams of 4 students each competed, representing 9
different countries — Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Russia, Spain, The
Netherlands, Sweden, Poland and the USA. This is the first time that
teams from the USA have competed in the International Linguistics

The International Linguistics Olympiad is a yearly event originating
in Russia and Bulgaria in which secondary school students compete by
solving linguistics problems, mostly in languages and writing systems
they have never learned. This year there were problems in Braille,
Turkish, Tatar, Georgian, Movima (Bolivia), Hawaiian and Ndom (Papua
New Guinea). See for more information about the
International Linguistics Olympiad.

The US teams were selected from finalists of the North American
Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) that took place on March
29, 2007. The US participation was sponsored by the National Science
Foundation, the North American chapter of the Association for
Computational Linguistics, Google, and private contributions from
participants, families and individual contributors.

More information about NACLO can be found at
Contact: Thomas E. Payne.
Co-Chair, North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad

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