Monday, July 28, 2008

The IPhO experience

Hello again, sorry for taking so long to post another topic about the Ipho, but I've been having lots of fun here. After the last post, I went to The Opening.... oh well I'll tell yo this later, I got some important things to tell you before I go to the closing ceremony. I was sick 3 days ago but now I'm feeling a lot better now, just a bit of running nose left.

And I got Silver medal! See it here. Oh and to impress you on how big a surprise it is to me and how important this medal is to Malaysia, I'll give you some background.

First, to me, I thought I'm doomed to no medal or honourable mention after the Theoretical exam, it was so hard(everyone says so) , I think I hardly got 15 marks for it (turns out I got 11.6). And so doing my best in the Experimental one, I only left 3 marks undone there (I got 16.3). Everyone says that it's easy. So, I was hoping for a HM or Bronze, but decided to just keep my hopes to HM, to avoid disappointment. I thought I got less that what I had last year( 27 marks) turns out I'm almost correct. Rumors has it that 35 marks for gold (it's 33 actually), 20 for bronze(19) and 13 for HM(14or 15), and nothing about silver(don't remember) .But I'm really am glad to got to know that I got silver from Prof. Roslan.

Second, this is the first time malaysia has an medal more than bronze and it means a lot to the IFM, and to me it means Malaysia does produces genius. Go future Olympians, go and make your country proud!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Surpise! Now I am in Vietnam, after a not too long flight from KLIA which William, Michelle, and my sis came along with my family to see me off. I am inside the internet room of our hotel right now and I gotta tell you I am glad that we got a girl as our contestent guide. The hotel room is definately better than what we got in Iran. 3 of us are sharing the same room with a personal toilet and a big screen TV! Today is the arrival day, so it'll be a little free for us. So now I'll leave this for a while and go make some more friends. This year, there are China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau team here! Amazing is it not?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Malaysia's Pride

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Plans, my last days in Malaysia

Sorry for the lack of update for last month. Resuming after the family reunion, I came back on Sunday, then went to RedBox at the Curve for a 7hours(should have been 6) of singing with 3 of my cousins for a whooping RM 25 per person! Then off I went to Penang on Thursday. During which 5 of us cousins, missing my sis, had a very good time playing. After putting a lot of games inside my laptop, I came back on Monday with William and Michelle.

A week later, after going to Malacca again, I came to the last camp to find out that I was the best among the top 5. I was awarded a book, Physics for Scientists and Engineers With Modern Physics 2008 edition! The top 5 are not the same as last year but it's my fault for comparing. Each year the team have different members and so they will have different "atmosphere" so to speak.

Now I'm studying like never before for the IPhO! And the future...

Later, on the 15th, I'll be going to Singapore for the UFO. Coming back on 17th and going to UKM on the 18th to go to Vietnam straight away. I'll be in Vietnam from the 20th to the 30th of July. Flying back, I'll have to rush to Singapore on the 31st to register for NUS! And it's there I'll stay for 4 long years(except on Chinese New Year of course!)

So from now till the 15th, These days are my last in Malaysia, for some months at least. I really dunno what to think, I have seen many friends with their last days in Malaysia too, dunno what they think.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

International Physics Olympiad

The IPhO is an annual competition held by countries around the world. About 80 countries are participating in this competition currently. Each country are allowed maximum 5 candidates to enter. Each candidate must be below 20 years old and never reveiced a University/College training. In addition, 2 leaders who's job is to translate the questions, mark the papers of the candidates and participate in the discussion process are required for each country. About 2 observers are allowed too and they function as helper for the leaders in translation, trying out the experimental sets and listening in the discussion but aren't allowed to vote. Besides that visitors can tag along but are not allowed in any of the activities listed above. Visitors can only enjoy the sightseeing in the host country. Malaysia's team has no visitors, 2 observers, 2 leaders, and 5 candidates.

The IPhO usually last around 10 days and is always held around July, summer time. The 1st day of arrival is empty of activities to allow all countries to arrive at different times. the morning of the 2nd day helds the opening ceremony. The next day sees the Teoretical Examinations. After that, we are allowed 1 day of rest before the Experimental Examination on the 5th day. After that, we are free to follow the sightseeing activities of the host country and making international friends. The closing ceremony is held on the day before we go back. In the closing ceremony, medals, honourable mention, and special prizes are given out.

Now as for the core part, you must know know that there is an Teory exam. It last for 5 hours straight. Normally 3 questions of 10 marks each and of course lots of subsections with marks allocated to be as small as 0.1! So the total marks is 30.0! The experiment exam is totaled 20.0 marks and usually contains 1 or 2 questions. The apparatus are prepared for each candidate individually and you can be sure that there are many data points to be gathered and many graphs to be plotted. But the most time consuming part might be error analysis. Oh ya you guess right, it's an 5 hour exam too. The IPhO is an individual competition. So it doesn't matter how your teammates perform, what matters is that each person do his best.Total Score is 50.0 marks.

Gold medal is arwarded to the top 6% of the total candidates. Silver for the top 18%, Bronze for the top 36% and Honourable Mention to the top 60%. The 5 Special Prizes are the One and only Absolute winner: the highest scorer! The best score in Teory, the best score in Exam and the best Female are also considered in the Special prizes. 1 more is unfixed, it can be the most original solution, the best performer among the newly entered countries, or anything else.

The candidates are separated from their leaders and observers for the duration of the IPhO. They are teamed up with a team guide who acts as an translator and well, guide. The team guide is from the host country and usually knows how to speak the native language of the country they guide. English is used in both Opening and Closing ceremony and it is the main language of communication used. One trivia fact is that female candidates are usually very little, less that 10 % of the candidates are female. As far as I know Malaysia has never had a female candidate in IPhO. The total candidates are about 300-400 as not all countries sent 5 each.And each day there's a new newsletter with pictures of the IPhO inside. It's one of the things we look forward to each day as we might just see our faces in it!