Dr. Araz Yusubov, Organizing Committee member for IOI 2019 in Azerbaijan sat down with the news team to excite our interest in his little-known country. Located near the Caspian Sea, where Eastern Europe meets Western Asia, Azerbaijan’s strengths have historically related to oil and industry. More relevant to the world of Informatics, the nation has always been an early adopter of new technology (it was the first country to film an eco-disaster back in 1896) and its capital city Baku was birthplace to the ‘father of fuzzy logic’ and one of AI’s pioneers Prof. Lotfi Zadeh. Sadly, Prof. Zadeh died last year but he was proud to know that Baku would be hosting the 2019 Olympiad.
Azerbaijan has been sending contestants to IOI since the 1990s and although it has not won clutches of medals it fully understands the vital importance of Informatics. That has been recognized by the Azerbaijan government for years and why, in 2015, the nation successfully bid to become Olympiad hosts. Despite disruptions to air flights caused by this week’s typhoon in Japan, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Minister of Education made it to Friday’s closing ceremony in Tsukuba to accept the IOI flag from Japan. “I invite you to Azerbaijan” he said.
Author: Tim Lemon