Martina Schäfer shares the proceedings book for the 11th IYPT (1998)

Martina Schäfer with a help from her mother, her brother, and co-editor Hendrik Hoeth, recovers the original pdf file for 11th IYPT: Remarks and selected reports (1998.) Coordinated distantly via Skype, this three-evening effort ended up with retrieving the file from a CD burnt under Linux 13 years ago.

Martina Schäfer earned a PhD in Earth Science and glaciology in 2007 from Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble (France), and is now a postdoctoral fellow at Arctic Centre, Rovaniemi (Finland.)

Download: 11th International Young Physicists’ Tournament. June 1–5, 1998. Donaueschingen, Germany. Remarks and selected reports (eds. Hendrik Hoeth, Martina Schäffer, Jan Theofel.) Stiftung für Bildung und Behindertenförderung (Stuttgart, 1998) [pdf]

May 18, 2011; 16h56-18h08 CET

I. M. [...] A year ago, I traced the printed book “11th IYPT: Remarks and selected reports” that you have co-edited, prepared and typeset in ca. 1998. Would it be kindly possible to ask you to share the original pdf of this book? The “Imprint” section says the book has been already available online at www.stiftung-sbb.de, but the file is no longer available. Thank you so much!

M. S. Funny to be asked about this book after such a long time! I think I still have some paper copies somewhere in a box on the attic :-) . What an effort to put already all this info together. How did you manage to scan the whole book of this/our IYPT book?

I. M. Hm, the scanning itself was a little painstaking effort, but much more tough and time-consuming was to (a) determine that the book existed as such, (b) find where to get a copy, and (c) to get this copy into the hands. [The copy was found at the] Württembergischen Landesbibliothek Stuttgart. [...]

We so badly missed the information about the early IYPTs, especially those held before 1998 as no websites existed, no publications were known, and no people could immediately suggest where to find a particular record or detail… Finding the accounts from the Soviet time was especially exciting, and now I will be slowly translating the key documents into English. :-)

M. S. Sure, I’ll search for the original files. I certainly have it somewhere, at least the tex-source files or a ps-file. But give me some time to dig it out (I have moved of course several times since then…) and manage to read the CD. Now when I think about it … it’s a long time ago that we did this: linux computers without any graphics, only terminals and then we had a ps file and some troubles to get a pdf out of it for printing … pdf was something “new” or “special” at that time :-) . Well, a lot of souvenirs :-) . Anyway, I’ll search and let you know.

If you have questions about the German participation/teams/tournaments, don’t hesitate to ask!

I. M. I will certainly not hesitate to contact you if I have questions about the 11th IYPT (but: given your outstanding work and efforts in 1998, most of the questions are simply answered in the book) :-) [From what I know, Rudolph Lehn] took part in an IYPT-related seminar in October 1994, and then brought a German team in 1995. However, the first West German participation was at the 2nd IYPT, when the West German (not DDR!) team ended up as gold winners in April 1989 :-)

May 18, 2011; 18h53 CET

M. S. The CD is located. It is at home in Germany at my parent’s place. But it’s formatted under linux, so they can’t read it (they have only windows). So I have first to get it here (or try to explain them how to read ext-filesystems under windows) and then I’ll be able to tell you, if the CD is still ok…

I. M. These are really great news!

May 20, 2011; 21h23-22h53 CET

M. S. Here are very good news: You can get a download link for the pdf [...].

Thanks to my mother for searching the CD, to my brother to copy/put online it for me with a live-linux cd under my skype-help and finally to Hendrik (the other author, which you had also contacted) for some linux help how to deal with this old CD! Anyway here it is! Hendrik had been searching but not found the CD, but he is happy now, too, to have the files again in his archives! With my brother we had nearly give up the CD as dammaged at least 3 or 4 times, but finally we were wrong and I’m happy about it :-) .

I. M. Many thanks to everybody in your family and to Hendrik! I am feeling really indebted for such rapid and motivated efforts! Thank you for arranging everything, involving so many people, and spending so much of your precious time!

[...] It would be such a huge disappointment if your long and dedicated efforts back in 1998 would be lost only because of a damaged CD :P !)

M. S. Yes, I’m happy also that we could recover all the sourcefiles, not only the pdf! It would have been a pity to know all that lost for ever.

How did it come that you have this email adress from me and not the one indicated in the book?

I. M. In such cases (when I look for people) I try to google for names, and it very often helps. For example, when I found the first-ever non-Soviet participants at the 1st IYPT (1988), it was a combination of attentive google search and coincidence. Although there was zero information about the teams or team members in 1988, I found a source giving the names of all participants in 1989. I was contacting different people, and the two Bulgarians happened to be on the team in both 1988 and 1989.

Just once or twice this method failed: I was contacting a Hungarian participant in 1989 and found someone with a same name, same age, a mathematician, and working at a university in Hungary. However, when this person replied, he occurred to be a different guy :-)

M. S. Sure, I’m doing that also when I try to find somebody. I was just surprised since my personal email is given in the book and it still works!

Btw, my mother told me (I had forgotten about this) that apparently my father was filming during that IYPT, probably during the finals. [...] Before I ask my father if he can dig out the film, I’d like to ask you if you are also interested in that kind of material or if you would like to limit you to the more “descriptive” data about teams, rankings, solution of the problems, etc?

I. M. Certainly, we are very interested in the video recordings!

(They give a look-and-feel of the competitions, that has changed quite significantly from those days! — I was a participant myself at the 14th IYPT when the teams still used printed transparencies etc.) We now have a video taken by the Ukrainian team in 1998 (avi 1, avi 2.)

The earliest (currently available) video is from 1996 (from a selective Ukrainian competition), and the earliest video from IYPT as such is from the 10th IYPT (avi 1, avi 2.)

Meantime, the French delegation reported in 1991 that there was the Soviet television filming at the 4th IYPT, and I am now (yet unsuccessfully) attempting to find a way to get this video from the Russian state archives for television and radio… :-)

[...] Overall, it would be such an amazing contribution if you succeed one day to digitize your video!

I have been receiving so much warm feedback for collecting not only “descriptive” details, but also the photos and videos, as they show everything: starting from people themselves, to the atmosphere and environment at a competition, how the stages looked like etc.. :-) Thank you so much again for this information! We would be so happy to have this recording!

M. S. On the CD was nothing beside the book, just some original documents that we used to extract info from (ranking of the teams or team members lists and that kind of things). And there is folder “unknown country”, so we seam to have had some documents that we could not connect to any team :-) .

I. M. Great details! I would frankly say that it would be so nice to include these additional documents to the IYPT Archive! (also: because it is quite probable that one day we can identify these “unknown” people! if everyone is identified at the 2nd IYPT hosted in the Soviet Union, then the 11th IYPT wouldn’t be much more difficult.)

M. S. I can send the stuff later to you, but I’m not quite sure if it’s really useful. Looks also a bit like fragments of solutions only and we had spent quite some detective work on it at the time of making the book.

I. M. If you have the ranking tables as scanned documents, they would also perfectly fit to the Archive, because this would be a “genuine”, authentic primary source :-)

M. S. No, it’s all some working-word documents, so no “historical” value, sorry.

May 21, 2011; before 17h34 CET

M. S. My father is quite busy currently [...]. Then I can ask him for the video :-) .

I have also paper pictures at home, I could search and scan them next time I’m home, probably at Christmas. But Alex [Urban] and Rudolf [Lehn] must have quite some pictures from this IYPT – they gave me at least paper copies of them afterwards. Naturally I don’t have many own pictures since I participated…

I should have pictures also from the IYPT in Vienna (the year after or before, I think after, Donaueschingen). Some of us Germans were there to assist in the organisation [...] I think I’ll never forget this Vienna IYPT [...]

I. M. Am I right that you were receiving the solutions by post? Did you start this work after the IYPT, or you have had planned everything in advance and were asking people for submissions just in Donaueschingen?

M. S. In my memory the idea came up during/at the end of the tournament and we collected everything as papercopy or on disks with a big effort in a big hurry when everybody was getting ready to leave. So it was not planed beforehand, more like a sudden “inspiration”. I don’t beleave that we got much afterwards by email or mail; but I may be wrong. I’m just sure that most of the material was collected on the spot and that no plan has existed in advance.

I. M. Do you remember, by chance, any announcement that Gunnar Tibell and Andrzej Nadolny were established as President and Secretary? If was just at the 11th IYPT when these two positions were formally introduced, and we were wondering if this happened after the event, or before the event?

M. S. Alexander Urban or Rudolf [Lehn] could know that; if it’s not written somewhere in the book (now you should be able to make search in the pdf) than I don’t know. The name Nadolny sounds familiar to me.

I. M. Could you recall any books or articles related to the IYPT that you saw, or wrote, or heard of? Any detail would help: either the name of the author, or the name of the journal etc. (slowly, but persistently, I will try to find everything :-)

M. S. I know only “my” book and some stuff from Rudolf Lehn. Nothing quite official, but the German-internal documents to make the tournament known. Somehow – at least at that time and for Germany – the competition was not very international, in the sens that every team/country lived it’s own thing and not a lot of contacts were established after the tournament. I remember having kept 2 email adresses for a while (don’t ask me for them now :-) ), but after writing once or twice it was over.

I. M. Thank you so much.

Documents on IYPT Brasil 2010, 2011 from Barbara Cruvinel Santiago

Historical IYPT documents — ilyamartch @ 10:49 am

Two detailed booklets with IYPT-related accounts and selected slides are shared by Barbara Cruvinel Santiago.

B. C. S. I was browsing the iypt archive site and wonder if I could help anyway, ’cause I’m fascinated about the IYPT and thought it was an amazing idea to collect everything in just one place.

I have participated last year in the regional phase of Brazil and will participate next week in this year’s one. Because of it, I have some pictures, reports in Portuguese, a certificate and a medal from the national competition. Even though it’s almost nothing comparing to what you have in that website (and it’s archive from recent competitions), I was thinking if the data I have would be useful for something…

I found the data [...]. I’m sending you some pictures and the booklet of the Brazilian phase of 2010, a digitized copy of a cetificate (I erased the name), 2 of our reports and a slide.

[+] IYPT Brasil 2010 (10-12 de Setembro 2010, Sao Paolo, Brasil) [booklet] [pdf]

[+] IYPT Brasil 2011 (13 a 15 de maio 2011, Sao Paolo, Brasil) [booklet] [pdf]

[+] 6. Ice (Gelo, IYPT Brasil, report, 2010) [pdf]

[+] 14. Magnetic spring (Mola Magnetica, IYPT Brasil, slides, report, 2010)

[+] Photos from IYPT Brasil 2010 [jpg 1] [jpg 2] [jpg 3]

[+] Diploma from IYPT Brasil 2010 [jpg]

Interview with Akos Csilling and Andras Czirok on the 3rd IYPT (1990)

Akos Csilling and Andras Czirok, the Hungarian participants at the IYPT 1990, clarify further details of the event.

Akos Csilling earned a PhD in Particle Physics from Eotvos University in 2000. After working at University College London and at CERN, he is now Senior Systems Engineer at Creative Electronic Systems, Switzerland.

Andras Czirok earned a PhD in Biological Physics from Eotvos University in 2000. He is now Assistant Professor at University of Kansas Medical Center.

Download: Lajos Skrapits. Palyazati felhivas nemzetkozi fizikaversenyre. KoMaL, 12, 478-480 (1989).

I. M. There are some recently traced photographs from IYPT organizer Evgeny Yunosov. Can you suggest if anyone can be identified on the picture with the Hungarian team, taken presumably in 1990?

A. Cz. The gentleman in the left is Dr Skrapits, the young guy in the center is Akos Csilling, who worked in the CERN for a while but after that I lost contact with him. I do not recognize the guy at the right (that’s why I belive this was not my team :-)

I. M. There is a list of Hungarian participants, preserved by Peter Fedorcsak. Can you suggest if everything is correct, as for 1990?

A. Cz. Your list of participants is interesting… indeed it can be correct! Well that guy on the photo is certainly Akos, and I completely forgot Akos Domotor and Istvan Nemeth, so one of them could be the guy on the right. I am surprised that Peter Falus was not in our team, but that is after all, possible.

A. Cs. I found back my diploma of the event. It lists the participants of our team. Here’s the scanned document with the best possible resolution (pdf and tif.)

I. M. This diploma provides full evidence that the logo we now widely use as a scanned image, first appeared exactly in 1990. (The horses and knights looked differently in 1989 and earlier, while all the sources after 1990 had the drawing exactly as preserved on your diploma.) At a certain moment in mid-1990s someone scanned the image. What is now used at almost any IYPT-related event is a low-res scanned picture. We also now know who was the Jury Chair (a special LOC position) in 1990.

A little question: what does the huge letter “F” means? I saw similar letters, like “JU” on the other diplomas. Can it be a mark for the degree of the diploma? (gold, silver, bronze?)

A. Cs. I can also confirm that the F on the front of the diploma refers to the results. I’m sure the first team had T, the second JU, and I think the third also JU, and 4-6 got F, so that all together T-JU-F was covered.

I. M. There are quite conflicting accounts on the number of Soviet and International teams in 1990. Do you possibly recollect what teams were there, in 1990?

A. Cz. I remember very little about the participating teams. I certainly remember the Dutch team (I guess they won?), but very little else — I am sorry.

A. Cs. I am pretty sure there were six teams in total, two of them from the Soviet Union.

They were pretty well prepared, probably gone through a selection process of several levels of similar competitions.

Foreign teams had much less preparation, I was told the team from Holland received the problems on the spot.

I. M. A very important issue that I would prefer to double-check, is the number of the Soviet-based teams at the 3rd IYPT. There may be, I now suspect, serious chances that several participants, who believed they have been at the 3rd IYPT in June 1990, simply misinterpreted the event with similar Tournaments, such as with the 3rd all-Soviet YPT where a UK team was reportedly present.

A. Cs. I’m positively sure there were 2 Soviet teams.

I can imagine quite easily that people confuse events,  which may be quite similar. So this is a logical explanation. I also participated at many events around the same time, but for me, the ITYP was quite different from the others, so I do remember some details clearly.

I. M. Were there any articles or reports about the 3rd IYPT in Hungarian journals?

A. Cz. The problems were advertised in the hungarian monthly “KOMAL” of which I must have an archive somewhere in Hungary. I just checked that its electronic web archive is not (yet?) functional. So, within a year (huhh) I believe I may be able to dig up the problems and some photos.

A. Cs. The problems were published in Komal – a Hungarian magazine for students on maths and physics. I think they have the old issues available online – I’ll check. Students were asked to submit solutions, and these were used to select the team.

I also found a link to the scanned pages of Komal with the problems (No. 12, 1989, pages: 478, 479, 480.)

The introduction states that the competition was to be held in Kladno, Czechoslovakia, that the first team from Hungary participated in 1989, and that the problems were translated from Kvant 1989/8.

I. M. Were there any restrictions on the number of problems left for challenge at particular Physics Fights? Were there any unexpected problems, intended to be solved immediately?

A. Cs. All the problems discussed were published in advance. I do not remember any tie-breaker.

On the other hand, I think there were some introductory questions, at a visit to the (Lomonosov?) University, which were used to establish the initial role of the teams.

A set of 4 problems was allocated to each session, and I think the presenting team could choose which of the four to present. There were three teams in each parallel session, so one of the problems was not discussed, and there were a total of six teams.

I. M. Do you have any information on when the 3rd IYPT was re-scheduled and diverted from Kladno, Czechoslovakia?

A. Cs. I only had some very vague information that the competition was foreseen for Czechoslovakia, but already then I did not have any details.

I. M. What were your overall impressions of the event?

A. Cs. I still remember the event quite clearly. Besides the obvious interesting Physics, it was my only visit to the Soviet Union, my first management experience, and a great opportunity to practice languages. The problems were very different from what we usually did in Hungary: less claculations, more practical, and more open-ended. I only regret that we did not mix with the other teams.

I. M. Thank you for all the information.

A. Cz. It is very nice to think back to these times, and indeed that event was a lot of fun!

The interview with Andras Czirok was taken on November 19, 2009. The interview with Akos Csilling was taken between October 29 and November 9, 2010, with updates on March 17, 2011 and May 11, 2011.

UPD (July 12, 2012): A. Cz. I found your draft detailed report on the early iypt tournaments.

A minor correction: You give most names for the 1990 Hungarian team. You mention Mihaly Fazekas – this is not a competitor, but the name of a school, named after a writer who lived 200 years ago :)

I can tell you that there was one translator who spoke English and Russian, and each participant could choose to present in English or Russian, with simultaneous translation to the other language.

When we were against the two Russian-speaking teams, we bypassed the translator, and I was translating for our team. There was also a case when our team member could not speak well enough any of the two
official languages, so I had to translate.

I remember a case when I was presenting in one language, and switched to the other without noticing. It was quite confusing for everyone…

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