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July 22, 1999

CANADA WINS THREE BRONZE MEDALS AT THE 1999 INTERNATIONAL MATHEMATICAL OLYMPIAD IN ROMANIA


Competing against students from 82 other countries, Canadian high school students have won three bronze medals at the 40th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), Bucharest, Romania, July 10-22, 1999.

The six members of the 1999 Canadian IMO team are: David Arthur, Upper Canada College, Toronto, Ontario; Jimmy Chui, Earl Haig Secondary School, North York, Ontario; James Lee, Eric Hamber Secondary School, Vancouver, British Columbia; Yin (Jessie) Lei, Vincent Massey Secondary School, Windsor, Ontario; David Nicholson, Fenelon Falls Secondary School, Ontario; David Pritchard, Woburn Collegiate Institute, Scarborough, Ontario.

At the Awards Ceremony (July 21, 1999) in Bucharest, Romania, Bronze Medals were awarded to David Arthur, Jimmy Chui and David Pritchard.

"The IMO is the world championship high school mathematics competition. The problems were particularly difficult and all six students have done extremely well and demonstrated the critical problem solving skills, knowledge and creativity required to compete at this very high level," said Dr. Graham Wright, Executive Director of the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS), the organization responsible for the selection and training of Canada's IMO team. "They have represented Canada very well and we are all very proud of their performance."

Although students compete individually, country rankings are obtained by adding the team's scores. The maximum score for each student is 42 and for a team of six students the maximum is 252. The Canadian team placed 31st out of 83 competing countries with a score of 74.

The top 10 teams and their scores are: Russia (182), China (182), Vietnam (177), Romania (173), Bulgaria (170), Belarus (167), Republic of Korea (164), Iran (159), Taiwan (153), United States of America (150).

The members of the 1999 Canadian IMO team will arrive in Toronto Pearson Airport (Terminal 2) Thursday, July 22, 1999, at 7:15 p.m. [Lufthansa flight 474].

Since 1981, Canadian students have received a total of 9 gold, 22 silver, and 43 bronze medals. The six members of the Canadian IMO team were selected from among more than 200,000 students who participated in local, provincial and national mathematics contests. Prior to leaving for the 40th IMO, the team trained at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, from June 29th to July 12th .

The Canadian team members, who must be less than 20 years old when they write the IMO competition, pitted their skills against 450 of the world's best students. The 1999 IMO contest was set by an international jury of mathematicians, one from each country, and was written on Friday, July 16 and Saturday, July 17. On each day of the contest, there are three questions to be solved with a time limit of four and one-half hours. "It is similar to the Olympic decathlon but with six rather than ten components," commented Wright.

The 1999 Team Leader was Dr. Edward Barbeau (Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto, Ontario) and the Deputy Team Leader was Dr. Arthur Baragar (Department of Mathematics, University of Nevada Las Vegas), a member of Canada's first IMO team in 1981. Dr. Dorette Pronk, (Department of Mathematics, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan) was the Deputy Leader Observer.

"These competitions help make mathematics education more relevant, challenging and fun for students," said Dr. Barbeau. "They provide Canadians with the opportunity to measure their abilities against those of the best in the world."

Sponsors of the 1999 Canadian team include: Alberta Education, the Bank of Montreal, the Canadian Mathematical Society, the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (University of Waterloo), the Fields Institute for Research in the Mathematical Sciences, Industry Canada, the New Brunswick Department of Education, the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Education, the Northwest Territories Department of Education, the Ontario Ministry of Education, the Quebec Ministry of Education, the Samuel Beatty Fund, the Saskatchewan Department of Education, the Senator Norman M. Paterson Foundation, the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, the University of Calgary, the University of New Brunswick at Fredericton, the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto and Waterloo Maple Inc.

The 41st International Mathematical Olympiad will take place in the Republic of Korea in July 2000.



For more information, contact:

Dr. Graham P. Wright
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 562-5702 (Office)
(613) 290-3046 (Cellular)
director@cms.math.ca


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