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MEDIA RELEASE
July 16, 2004

CANADIAN OBTAINS A PERFECT SCORE AND WINS A GOLD MEDAL AT THE 2004 INTERNATIONAL MATHEMATICAL OLYMPIAD IN ATHENS, GREECE

Approximately 500 students competed at the 45th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). Only 45 were awarded Gold Medals of which an exceptional group of four students achieved a perfect score (42 out of 42). "This year a Canadian student, Jacob Tsimerman, achieved this rare honor and can be considered world champion", said Dr. Christopher Small, Canadian Team Leader.

Competing against students from 84 other countries, Canadian high school students have done extremely well, winning one Gold Medal, three Bronze Medals and two Honorable Mentions at the 45th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), Athens, Greece from July 4 -18, 2004.

The six students who competed for Canada were: Oleg Ivrii, Don Mills Collegiate Institute, Toronto (Ontario); János Kramár, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto (Ontario); Dong Uk (David) Rhee, McNally High School, Edmonton (Alberta); Peng Shi, Sir John A. MacDonald Collegiate Institute, Toronto (Ontario); Jacob Tsimerman, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto (Ontario); and Yufei Zhao, Don Mills Collegiate Institute, Toronto (Ontario).

The team was accompanied by the Team Leader, Dr. Christopher Small (University of Waterloo), the Deputy Team Leader, Dr. Edward Wang (Wilfrid Laurier University), and the Observer, Professor Felix Recio (University of Toronto).

At the Awards Ceremony which will be held on July 17th, 2004 in Athens a Gold Medal will be awarded to Jacob Tsimerman; Bronze Medals to János Kramár, Peng Shi and Yufei Zhao. Oleg Ivrii and Donk Uk (David) Rhee will receive Honorable Mentions.

"Our young team performed extremely well and I am very proud of all of our students," said Dr. Small.

"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 problem solving skills, knowledge and creativity that is essential 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 21st out of 85 competing countries with a score of 132.

Since 1981, Canadian students have received a total of 15 gold, 27 silver, and 55 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 45th IMO, the team trained at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) from June 24th to July 8th, 2004.

Team members must be less than 20 years old when they write the IMO. The 2004 IMO contest was set by an international jury of mathematicians, one from each country, and was written on Monday July 12th and Tuesday, July 13th. On each day of the contest, there are three questions to be solved within a time limit of four and one-half hours.

The top 10 teams and their scores are: China (220); USA (212); Russia (205); Vietnam (196); Bulgaria (194); Taiwan (190); Hungary (187); Japan (182); Iran (178); Romania (176).

Jacob Tsimerman, Dong Uk (David) Rhee, Peng Shi and Yufei Zhao will be returning to Canada on July 18th, arriving at Pearson International Airport (Terminal 1) at 17:25 on Air Canada Flight Number 883. Oleg Ivrii and János Kramár are remaining in Europe to participate in the Tournament of the Towns.

Sponsors of the 2004 Canadian IMO team include: the Canadian Mathematical Society; NSERC PromoScience; the Ontario Ministry of Education; the Newfoundland and Labrador Ministry of Education; the Quebec Ministry of Education; the Northwest Territories Ministry of Education; Alberta Learning; the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education; Sun Life Financial; the Samuel Beatty Fund; Maplesoft; 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 Calgary; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of New Brunswick at Fredericton; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa; le département de mathématiques, 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; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Winnipeg; and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University.

The 46th International Mathematical Olympiad will take place in Cancun, Mexico in July.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Graham P. Wright
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 562-5702 (CMS Office)
(613) 290-3046 (Cell)
director@cms.math.ca
www.cms.math.ca/Competitions/

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