Rising junior Erik Andersen was recently named a member of the United States’ team that will compete in the International Linguistics Olympiad from July 24 – 30 in Pittsburgh, Penn. Andersen was one of six Harker students invited to participate in the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) invitational round, out of 100 high school students nationwide. Other students who participated in the invitational round were rising sophomores Stephanie Chen, Alex Pei and Rahul Sridhar, as well as rising senior Ramya Rangan and recent graduate Richard Chiou. Andersen placed sixth overall to qualify as a member of the U.S. team.
Problems for the Olympiad, Andersen said, are designed to be challenging. During the invitational round, participants had to solve a total of seven problems over a period of five hours, not including a one-hour lunch break. “These are notably difficult and require linguistic theory explanations, testing the ability of each student to think linguistically and come up with a pattern in the problem,” Andersen said.
Andersen, whose interest in linguistics began in grade 8, made it to the NACLO invitational round last year, but did not qualify for the U.S. team. He will be the first Harker student since Anand Natarajan ’09 to compete in the ILO.