Competing against students from 83 other countries, Canadian high school students have done extremely well, winning one gold medal, three silver medals, one bronze medal and one honourable mention at the 43rd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), Glasgow, UK, July 19-30, 2002.
The six members of the 2002 Canadian IMO team were: Robert Barrington Leigh, Old Scona Academic High School, Edmonton, Alberta; Olena Bormashenko, Don Mills Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ontario; Alexander Fink, Queen Elizabeth High School, Calgary, Alberta; Ralph Furmaniak, John Paul II Secondary School, London, Ontario; Tianyi (David) Han, Woburn Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ontario and Roger Mong, Don Mills Collegiate Institute Toronto, Ontario.
At the Awards Ceremony on July 29th, 2002 in Glasgow, a Gold Medal was awarded to Roger Mong. Olena Bormashenko, Alexander Fink and Tianyi (David) Han were awarded Silver Medals. Robert Barrington-Leigh has received a Bronze Medal while Ralph Furmaniak was awarded an Honourable Mention.
"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 84 competing countries with a score of 142. "This ranking is the best since Canada started competing at the IMO" said Dr. Wright.
The top 13 teams and their scores are: China (212), Russia (204), United States (171), Bulgaria (167), Vietnam (166), Korea (163), Taiwan (161), Romania (157), India (156), Germany (144), Iran (143), Canada and Hungary (142).
Most of the team members, as well as the Team Leader, will be returning to Canada on July 30th and will arrive at Pearson International Airport (Terminal 1) at 13:10 on Air Canada Flight Number 843.
Since 1981, Canadian students have received a total of 12 gold, 27 silver, and 49 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 43rd IMO, the team trained at Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland from July 7th to July 21st, 2002.
The Canadian team members, who must be less than 20 years old when they write the IMO competed against over 450 of the world's best students. The 2002 IMO contest was set by an international jury of mathematicians, one from each country, and was written on Tuesday, July 23 and Wednesday, July 24, 2002. On each day of the contest, there are three questions to be solved within a time limit of four and one-half hours.
The team was accompanied by the Team Leader, Dr. Arthur Baragar (University of Nevada - Las Vegas), the Deputy Team Leader, Mr. Naoki Sato (Canadian Medalist at the 1992 and the 1993 IMO), the Leader Observer, Dr. Bill Sands (University of Calgary), and the Deputy Leader Observer, Mr. Robert Morewood (Burnaby South Secondary School).
"Our team members were excellent ambassadors for Canada in Glasgow," said Dr. Baragar. "The 2002 IMO contest was very difficult and I am immensely proud of their outstanding performance - on the fourth question every Canadian student received a perfect score."
Sponsors of the 2002 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; 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, Memorial University of Newfoundland; 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, University of Toronto; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa; the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, University of Waterloo; the Department of Mathematics, York University, and the Canadian Mathematical Society.
The 44th International Mathematical Olympiad will take place in Tokyo, Japan from July 7th to 19th 2003.
For more information, contact:Dr. Graham P. Wright