Carmel resident leads informatics team to European Girls’ Olympiad medals


Yuni Xia wants to see more women follow her path.

The Carmel resident, an associate professor at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing and the program director of computer science at IUPUI, led the USA Computing Olympiad team in the 2023 European Girls’ Olympiad in informatics competition held July 15-21 in Lund, Sweden. The team earned two gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal.

CIC COM 0815 Computing Gold

“Encouraging girls to pursue programming helps create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, which fosters creativity and innovation,” said Xia, who has a doctorate in computer science from Purdue University. “It can help to close the gender gap in STEM fields, boost girls’ confidence and enable them to pursue a wide range of career opportunities.”

More than 52 countries were represented in the competition. The Olympiad consists of two contest days where participants tackle algorithmic problems.

The team also had time to do some sightseeing.

“The host arranged an excursion for us to visit Skånes Djurpark, which is a Swedish zoological park with a large collection of Nordic animals,” Xia said. “It was a lot of fun.”

The four members of the USA delegation were all from over the U.S.: Maria Chrysafis, California; Tina Wang, Missouri; Eva Zhu, New Jersey; and Christina Li, a U.S. citizen who lives in China.

“The European Girls Olympiad in Informatics provided an extraordinary experience for these girls, challenging not only their problem-solving skills but also exposing them to a vibrant community of brilliant young minds with a shared passion for computer science,” Xia said.

In 2022, Xia took a team to compete in the International Olympiad in Informatics. But this year that competition is at the end of August while Xia will be occupied teaching classes.

Xia helps conduct EasyFunCoding classes throughout the year.

“EasyFunCoding has a group of excellent teachers and now we have students from 10 countries and districts,” Xia said.

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