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July 12, 2001


Competing against students from 83 other countries, Canadian high school students have won one gold and four bronze medals at the 42nd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), Washington, USA, July 1-14, 2001.

The six members of the 2001 Canadian IMO team are: Daniel Brox, Sentinel Secondary School, West Vancouver, British Columbia; Paul Cheng, West Vancouver Secondary School, West Vancouver, British Columbia; Liang Hong, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, Ontario; Nima Kamoosi, West Vancouver Secondary School, West Vancouver, British Columbia; Roger Mong, Don Mills Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ontario; and Shu Niu, Port Moody Secondary School, Port Moody, British Columbia.

At the Awards Ceremony on July 13th, 2001 in Washington, a Gold Medal will be awarded to Daniel Brox and Bronze Medals to Paul Cheng, Liang Hong, Nima Kamoosi and Roger Mong.

"The IMO is the world championship high school mathematics competition. The problems were very difficult and all six students have done extremely well and 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 24th out of 83 competing countries with a score of 100.

The top 10 teams and their scores are: China (225), United States (196), Russia (196), Republic of Korea (185), Bulgaria (185), Kazakstan (168), India (148), Ukraine (143), Taiwan (141) and Vietnam(139).

The team members will be returning to Canada on July 14th and will arrive at Pearson International Airport (Terminal 2) at 10:40 a.m. on Air Canada Flight Number 3983.

Since 1981, Canadian students have received a total of 11 gold, 24 silver, and 48 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 42nd IMO, the team trained at the University of New Brunswick from June 17th to July 1st.

The Canadian team members, who must be less than 20 years old when they write the IMO competed against 473 of the world's best students. The 2001 IMO contest was set by an international jury of mathematicians, one from each country, and was written on Sunday, July 8 and Monday, July 9, 2001. 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 2001 Team Leader was Dr. Christopher Small (University of Waterloo) and the Deputy Team Leader was Dr. Dorette Pronk (Dalhousie University). Dr. Edward Wang (Wilfrid Laurier University) was the Leader Observer and Mr. Richard Hoshino (a Canadian IMO Silver Medalist in 1996) was the Deputy Leader Observer.

"This year's competition was one of the hardest IMOs in recent years. There were four problems among the six which were gold medal questions in the sense that they were challenging to the top students in the world," said Dr. Small, "Canada should be very proud of our six students and their performance at this year's IMO."

Sponsors of the 2001 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 Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of New Brunswick at Fredericton; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Calgary; the Department of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University; the Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa; and the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, University of Waterloo.

The 43rd International Mathematical Olympiad will take place in Scotland in July 2002.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Graham P. Wright
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 562-5702 (CMS Office)
Dr. Daryl Tingley
Chair - CMS Competitions Committee
University of New Bruswick
(506) 453-4768

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