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COMMUNIQUÉ
May 30, 2005

SIX STUDENTS SELECTED TO REPRESENT CANADA AT THE 2005 INTERNATIONAL MATHEMATICAL OLYMPIAD IN MÉRIDA, MEXICO

OTTAWA, Ontario -- Six of Canada's best high school mathematics students have been chosen to represent their country at the 46th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). The IMO is the world championship mathematics competition for high school students and is being held this year in Mérida, Mexico from July 8 to July 19, 2005.

"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 mathematics ambassadors for Canada".

The six students - Lin Fei, Don Mills Collegiate Institute, Toronto (Ontario); Elyot Grant, Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute, Kitchener (Ontario); Yang (Richard) Peng, Vaughan Road Academy, Toronto (Ontario); Dong Uk (David) Rhee, McNally High School, Edmonton (Alberta); Peng Shi, Sir John A. MacDonald Collegiate Institute. Toronto (Ontario); and Yufei Zhao, Don Mills Collegiate Institute, Toronto (Ontario) -- were selected from among more than 200,000 students in grades 7 to 12 (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 Wednesday, July 13 and Thursday, July 14 and the medals awarded on Monday, 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. Felix Recio (University of Toronto), and the Deputy Team Leader, Dr. Dorette Pronk (Dalhousie University).

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 15 gold, 27 silver, and 55 bronze medals. At last year's IMO in Athens, (Greece), the Canadian team tied for 21st out of the 82 competing countries and won five medals.

"These competitions allow Canadian high school students to compare their results with the best of those in other countries," said Dr. George Bluman, University of British Columbia and Chair of the CMS Mathematical Competitions Committee. "It should be noted that Canadian students do very well even though in many countries high school finishes at age 19."

The six students will be attending a special IMO Training Camp at the University of Calgary and the Banff International Research Station from June 25 to July 10 and an IMO Team Send-off Luncheon will be held on June 28 at 1:00 PM. The media can meet the team at 12:00 noon on June 28 at the Learning Commons, Biological Sciences Building, University of Calgary. The team will leave for Mexico on July 10 and will return to Canada on July 19.

Sponsors of the 2005 Canadian IMO team include: the Ontario Ministry of Education; the Newfoundland and Labrador Ministry of Education; the Nova Scotia Ministry of Eduction; the Quebec Ministry of Education; the Northwest Territories Ministry of Education; Alberta Learning; the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education; the Canadian Mathematical Society; Sun Life Financial; the Samuel Beatty Fund; MapleSoft; Centre de recherches mathématiques; the Banff International Research Station; the Fields Institute for Research in the Mathematical Sciences; the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences; the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Calgary; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa; the Department of Mathematics, Université du Québec à Montréal; the Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto; the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, University of Waterloo; the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo; the Department of Mathematics, University of Western Ontario; the Department of Mathematics, Wilfrid Laurier University; and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University.


For more information, contact:

Dr. Graham P. Wright
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 562-5702
Cel: (613) 290-3046
Email: director@cms.math.ca

or

Dr. George Bluman
Chair - MCC Committee
Department of Mathematics
University of British Columbia
Tel: (604) 822-3044
Email: bluman@math.ubc.ca

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