OTTAWA, Ontario -- Six of Canada's best high school mathematics students have been chosen to represent their country at the 43rd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). The IMO is the world championship mathematics competition for high school students and is being held this year in Glasgow (UK) from July 19 to July 30, 2002.
"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 ambassadors for Canada".
The six students -- 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 Secondary School, London, Ontario; Tianyi (David) Han, Woburn Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ontario and Roger Mong, Don Mills Collegiate Institute Toronto, Ontario -- were selected from among more than 200,000 students in grades seven to 13 (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 Tuesday, July 23 and Wednesday, July 24 and the medals awarded on Monday, July 29. 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. Arthur Baragar (University of Nevada - Las Vegas), the Deputy Team Leader, Mr. Naoki Sato (SunLife Financial), the Leader Observer, Dr. Bill Sands (University of Calgary), and the Deputy Leader Observer, Mr. Robert Morewood (Burnaby South Secondary School).
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 11 gold, 24 silver, and 48 bronze medals. At last year's IMO in Washington, (USA), the Canadian team placed 24th out of the 83 competing countries and won five medals.
"These competitions are one way of making mathematics education more relevant, challenging and fun for students," said Dr. Daryl Tingley, University of New Brunswick (Fredericton) and Chair of the CMS Mathematical Competitions Committee. "They provide Canadians with the opportunity to measure their abilities against the best in the world."
The six students will be attending a special IMO Training Camp at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland from July 7 to 21, 2002 and an IMO Team Send-off Luncheon will be held at Memorial University on July 10th . The team will leave for Glasgow on July 21st and will return to Canada on July 30th .
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; 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, Memorial University - Newfoundland; the Department of Mathematics, 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; and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Graham P. Wright
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: Office: (613) 562-5800 ext 3528
Cell: (613) 290-3046
Dr. Daryl Tingley
Chair - MCC Committee
Department of Mathematics
University of New Brunswick - Fredericton
Tel: (506) 453-4768