1st Crystallography Olympiad held in Poland

Poznań, Poland, June 2014

[Olympiad participants] Participants of the 1st Crystallography Olympiad in Poland, caption refers to steps (s) numbered bottom up. A. Deptuch (s2) with her 1st Prize (air ticket), A. Gładysiak (s1) 2nd Prize, M. Zieliński (far left on s3) 3rd Prize, E. Michalski (far right on s2), Chairman of the Organizing Committee. (Photo by R. Paszkowski)
To celebrate IYCr2014 and to accentuate other anniversaries, including 'The Jan Czochralski Year 2013', the Committee of Crystallography in Poland organized the 1st National Crystallography Olympiad, modeled on other Olympiads (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry). The Crystallography Olympiad was designed for university students, although high school students were also accepted. The tournament consisted of two stages. At the first level, the schools selected the candidates. The Finals were held in Wroclaw on 25 June, 2014, in connection with the Annual Polish Crystallographic Meeting ('Crystallographic Conversations'). The 29 finalists had to solve 60 test questions and to answer 5 open questions in 2 hours. The questions covered all fields of crystallography, including geometrical crystallography and symmetry, diffraction methods and structure analysis, growth and properties of crystals, crystal and structural chemistry, macromolecular crystallography, and other aspects of crystallography including history. The Olympiad was organized and a committee that included M. Jaskolski, A. Koziol, R. Przenioslo and D. Stroz, chaired by E. Michalski, prepared the examination questions. The winners were A. Deptuch (Krak—ów), A. Gładysiak (Poznań) and M. Zieliski (Warsaw). Rigaku/Testchem generously sponsored the prizes - the 1st Prize, a one-week visit to Japan - as well as Panalytical, Bruker and Agilent - the 2nd/3rd Prize received notebook/tablet. In a sense, however, all the participants including the Organizers are the winners because the Olympiad turned out to be a success and helped to popularize crystallography in Poland.

We plan to make the Olympiad an annual event and hope that other countries will organize Crystallography Olympiads, with the ultimate goal of having an International Crystallography Olympiad.

Mariusz Jaskolski