June 29, 1999
The Canadian Mathematical Society introduced the 1999 Canadian International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) Team today at the Bank of Montreal Institute for Learning, Toronto (3:30 p.m. - 3550 Pharmacy Ave. at Steeles).
Joined by families, friends, sponsors and invited guests, the 1999 Canadian IMO Team prepared to depart for the 40th Annual IMO in Bucharest, Romania. Well wishers included Mr. Radu Safta, Consul General for Romania, Ms. Janet Ecker, Minister of Education for Ontario, Mr. Corey Jack, Vice-President and Director of the Bank of Montreal Institute for Learning, and Dr. Richard Kane, President of the Canadian Mathematical Society.
"These students have demonstrated the exceptional problem solving skills and creativity that is crucial 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 potential of students across the country and all experience an enormous pride in representing Canada on the international stage".
The Canadian Team is comprised of six high school students chosen from more than 200,000 students who have written various local, provincial, national and international contests. Team members and their coaches will attend a training camp at the University of Waterloo from June 30 to July 11.
The 1999 Canadian Olympiad "mathletes" 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; Jessica Yin Lei, Vincent Massey Secondary School, Windsor, Ontario; David Nicholson, Fenelon Falls Secondary School, Ontario; and David Pritchard, Woburn Collegiate Institute, Scarborough, Ontario.
The Team Leader is Dr. Edward Barbeau (University of Toronto), the Deputy Team Leader is Dr. Arthur Baragar, (University of Nevada - Las Vegas), and the Deputy Team Leader - Observer is Dr. Dorette Pronk (Calvin College, Michigan).
Canada will challenge defending champion Iran and more than 80 other countries. Canada earned one gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the 1998 IMO in Taiwan and finished 20th overall out of 76 competing countries. This year's contest will take place on July 16th and 17th and the results will be announced on July 21st.
Students compete individually and each day involves answering three questions in 4.5 hours using their problem solving skills and without the use of a calculator. The International Jury initially prepares the contest paper in English, French, Russian and German and then the paper is painstakingly translated into over 40 languages, with enormous effort taken to ensure accuracy and consistency of the questions.
Sample Question (1998 IMO - No. 1):
In the convex quadrilateral ABCD, the diagonals AC and BD are perpendicular and the opposite sides AB and DC are not parallel. Suppose that the point P, where the perpendicular bisectors of AB and DC meet, is inside ABCD. Prove that ABCD is a cyclic quadrilateral if and only if the triangles ABP and CDP have equal areas.
Dr. Graham P. Wright
Canadian Mathematical Society