Sun, Jul 20, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Young leukemia survivor wins IOI gold for Taiwan

Staff writer, with CNA

The team representing Taiwan at the International Olympiad in Informatics hold up their medals at the award ceremony at the Taipei International Convention Center in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Taiwan won one gold and three silver medals yesterday at the just-concluded 26th International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), which was held for the first time in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s performance this year marked an improvement from last year’s in Australia, when they garnered one gold and two bronze medals.

This year, the gold medal went to Chen Po-en (陳伯恩), a student at the National Experimental High School at the Hsinchu Science and Industrial Park. Chen was also a gold-medal winner at the 2012 International Mathematical Olympiad.

Chen, who suffers from leukemia, has recently completed a three-year course of chemotherapy.

Yesterday, he reacted casually to his latest accomplishment, saying: “I’m just glad I didn’t have to compete while having chemo. That was a relief.”

He said that winning is not the most important part about participating in an international contest, but the process of learning, discussing and immersing one’s self in the world of mathematics and informatics, adding that he cherished every moment of the experience.

A familiar face at math and informatics contests at home and abroad, Chen has won many honors, including a gold medal in Southeast Mathematical Olympiad 2010 and the 15th National Problem Solving Contest on Internet.

Chen’s mother, Huang Hsiu-chuan (黃秀娟), said that seeing her son get through the painful process of chemotherapy over the past three years was as rewarding as seeing him take first place at the IOI.

From his gradual recovery from the disease and the youthful smile returning to his face, she said she could tell Chen’s life is “moving toward a bright and beautiful future.”

The three silver medals went to Taichung First Senior-High School’s Chen Po-chang (陳柏彰), Kaohsiung Municipal Kaohsiung Senior-High School’s Wang Tzu-ming (王子明) and Taipei Municipal Jianguo High-School’s Cho Yi (周逸).

Additional reporting by Rachel Lin

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