OTTAWA, Ontario -- Six of Canada's best high school mathematics students have been chosen to represent their country at the 44th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). The IMO is the world championship mathematics competition for high school students and is being held this year in Tokyo from July 10 to July 19, 2003."The six students have demonstrated the exceptional problem solving skills, understanding and creativity that is so necessary to compete against the very best at the international level," said Dr. Graham Wright, Executive Director of the Canadian Mathematical Society, the organization responsible for the selection and training of Canada's IMO team. "They represent the best of our students and will be excellent ambassadors for Canada."
The six students -- Robert Barrington Leigh, Old Scona Academic High School, Edmonton, Alberta; Olena Bormashenko, Don Mills Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ontario; Tianyi (David) Han, Woburn Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ontario; Oleg Ivrii, Don Mills Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ontario; János Kramár, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, Ontario; and Jacob Tsimerman, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, Ontario -- were selected from among more than 200,000 students in grades 7 to 13 (plus CEGEP) who participated in local, provincial and national mathematics contests.
The Canadian team members, who must be less than 20 years old when they write the IMO competition, will be pitting their skills against more than 450 of the world's best students from over 80 countries. The IMO competition paper, which is set by an international jury of mathematicians, will be written on Sunday, July 13 and Monday, July 14 and the medals awarded on Friday, July 18. The contest consists of two exams, each consisting of three questions on each day with a time limit of four and one-half hours. "It is a highly challenging mathematical hexathlon and these are our Canadian mathletes," commented Wright.
The team will be accompanied by the Team Leader, Dr. Andy Liu (University of Alberta), the Deputy Team Leader, Mr. Richard Hoshino (Dalhousie University), and the Leader Observer, Mr. Robert Morewood (Burnaby South Secondary School).
Canada first sent a team to an IMO competition in 1981 (Washington, USA). Since then, Canadian students have done very well, receiving a total of 12 gold, 27 silver, and 49 bronze medals. At last year's IMO in Glasgow, (UK), the Canadian team tied for 12th out of the 84 competing countries and won five medals.
"These competitions are one way of making mathematics education more relevant, challenging and fun for students," said Dr. Peter Cass, University of Western Ontario and Chair of the CMS Mathematical Competitions Committee. "They provide Canadians with the opportunity to measure their abilities against the best in the world."
The six students will be attending a special IMO Training Camp at the University of Calgary and the Banff International Research Station from June 24 to July 10 and an IMO Team Send-off Luncheon will be held at the University of Calgary on June 27 at 12 noon. The team will leave for Tokyo on July 10 and will return to Canada on July 20.
Sponsors of the 2003 Canadian IMO team include: the Ontario Ministry of Education; the Newfoundland and Labrador Ministry of Education; the Quebec Ministry of Education; the North West Territories Ministry of Education; Alberta Learning; the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education; the Canadian Mathematical Society; Sun Life Financial; the Samuel Beatty Fund; Maple Software Inc; Centre de recherches mathématiques; the Fields Institute for Research in the Mathematical Sciences;
the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences; the Banff International Research Station; the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Calgary; the Department of Mathematics, University of Western Ontario; the Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa; the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, University of Waterloo; and the Department of Mathematics, York University.
Dr. Graham P. Wright
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 562-5702
Cell: (613) 290-3046
Dr. Peter Cass|
Chair - MCC Committee
Department of Mathematics
University of Western Ontario
Tel: (519) 661-3639