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COMMUNIQUÉ
July 18, 2003

CANADA WINS TWO GOLD AND THREE BRONZE MEDALS AT THE 2003 INTERNATIONAL MATHEMATICAL OLYMPIAD IN TOKYO, JAPAN

Competing against students from 81 other countries, Canadian high school students have done extremely well, winning two gold medals and three bronze medals at the 44th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), Tokyo, Japan, July 11-18, 2003.

The six members of the 2003 Canadian IMO team were: 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.

At the Awards Ceremony on July 18th, 2003 in Tokyo, Gold Medals were awarded to Olena Bormashenko and Jacob Tsimerman; Robert Barrington Leigh, Tianyi (David) Han and Oleg Ivrii were awarded Bronze Medals. Olena Bormashenko is the first Canadian female student to win a gold medal and Jacob Tsimerman is the youngest Canadian student to win a gold medal.

The team was accompanied by the Team Leader, Dr. Andy Liu (University of Alberta), the Deputy Team Leader, Mr. Richard Hoshino (Dalhousie University), and the Observer, Mr. Robert Morewood (Burnaby South Secondary School).

"Our young team performed extremely well. Canada finished in the top 13 and won five medals," said Dr. Liu. "I am immensely proud of their outstanding performance".

"The IMO is the world championship high school mathematics competition. All six problems were very difficult and all of the Canadian students have done remarkably well. They have all demonstrated the essential problem solving skills, knowledge and creativity that is 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.

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 12th out of 82 competing countries with a score of 119. "This ranking matches the best performance since Canada started competing at the IMO" said Dr. Wright.

The top 13 teams and their scores are: Bulgaria (227); China (211); USA (188); Vietnam (172); Russia (167); Korea (157); Romania (143); Turkey (133); Japan (131); United Kingdom (128); Hungary (128); Canada (119) and Kazakhstan (119).

Five of the students will be returning to Canada on July 20th and will arrive at Pearson International Airport (Terminal 2) at 20:42 on Air Canada Flight Number 1144. The sixth student is remaining in the Far East to compete for Canada in the International Physics Olympiad, which will take place in Taiwan in early August.

Since 1981, Canadian students have received a total of 14 gold, 27 silver, and 52 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 44th IMO, the team trained at the University of Calgary and the Banff International Research Station in Alberta from June 24th to July 10th, 2003.

The Canadian team members, who must be less than 20 years old when they write the IMO, competed against 451 of the world's best students. The 2003 IMO contest was set by an international jury of mathematicians, one from each country, and was written on Sunday July 13th and Monday, July 14th. On each day of the contest, there are three questions to be solved within a time limit of four and one-half hours.

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 Banff International Research Station (BIRS); 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 Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Calgary; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa; the Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto; the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, University of Waterloo; the Department of Mathematics, University of Western Ontario; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Winnipeg; the Department of Mathematics, York University; and the Canadian Mathematical Society.

The 45th International Mathematical Olympiad will take place in Athens, Greece from July 4th to 18th 2004.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Graham P. Wright
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 562-5702 (CMS Office)
director@cms.math.ca
www.cms.math.ca/Competitions/

or

Dr. Peter Cass
Chair - CMS Competitions Committee
University of Western Ontario
(519) 661-3639
chair-mcc@cms.math.ca


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