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World Computer Olympics: An 18-year-old college student...

Walter is off to Computer Olympics

An 18-year-old college student becomes Callan’s very first Olympian, this week.

But young Walter O’Brien of Tinagaroon, Callan, will be flexing his brainpower instead of his physical power, as he competes against the world’s top computer whizzes in the Information Olympics, in Argentina.

Walter, the son of Anne and Maurice O’Brien, flew out to Argentina last Thursday with fellow Irish teammates Joseph Carroll, Meath, and John Lame of Dublin.

During the week-long battle of intellects, he will be involved in solving very complex computer problems within a time limit.

The former Callan CBS student has come first in Ireland in the prestigious Wisconsin International Computer Solving Competition for the past two years.

He entered the competition as an individual in 1991 and among the opponents he defeated was maths genius Andrew Farrell, who entered Trinity College at the age of thirteen.

And a computer science professor from England was so impressed with Walter’s skills that last year he was invited over to Britain to work for the summer in a large airport and banking computerised company.

He has also completed computerized illustrations for the physics section of the secondary science book.

Believe it or not, all of this has been achieved without a single formal computer lesson.

Yes, this young Callanman, who is soon to start studying for a degree in artificial intelligence and computer science at the University of Sussex, is completely self taught.

Walter O’Brien and the rest of the Irish computer team will return home early next week.