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MEDIA RELEASE — July 26, 2011

Canadian Mathematical Society

July 26, 2011


Strong student performance at the International Mathematical Olympiad

OTTAWA, Ontario — A team of six Canadian high school students are celebrating their success at the 52nd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), held in Amsterdam from July 16 to 24. Each member of Math Team Canada 2011 won a medal after competing with over 570 students at the world's most difficult student mathematics competition.


The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is the world championship high school mathematics competition. The 2011 IMO contest was set by an international jury of mathematicians and was written on July 18th and 19th. On each day of the contest, three questions had to be solved within a time limit of four and a half hours.

Although students compete individually, country rankings are obtained by adding the team scores. The maximum score for each student is 42 and for a team of six students the maximum is 252. Math Team Canada placed 17th out of 105 competing countries with an overall score of 132. The 2011 results bring Canada's total medal count since 1981 to 20 gold, 43 silver, and 73 bronze.

The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is responsible for the selection, training and overall support of Math Team Canada to the IMO.

Canada’s success at the IMO would not be possible without the assistance of our corporate and provincial sponsors. The CMS gratefully acknowledges the support of the following organizations:

  • Imperial Oil Foundation
  • Sun Life Financial
  • NSERC PromoScience
  • Samuel Beatty Fund
  • Nelson Education
  • Government of Alberta
  • Government of Manitoba
  • Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Government of Nova Scotia
  • Government of Northwest Territories
  • Government of Ontario
  • Gouvernement de Québec
  • Government of Prince Edward Island
  • Government of Saskatchewan
  • Government of Yukon
  • Banff International Research Station (BIRS)

Team Announcement Press Release

Math Team Canada Biographies (PDF)

At the IMO closing ceremonies on Saturday July 23, a gold medal was awarded to Alex Song (Waterloo), silver medals to James Rickards (Ottawa) and Hunter Spink (Calgary), and bronze medals to Matthew Brennan (Toronto), Heinrich Jiang (Windsor) and Mariya Sardarli (Edmonton).

At 14 years old, Alex Song is the youngest gold medalist in the history of Canada's participation at the IMO.

The team's success ranks Canada as the 17th in the world out of 105 competing countries.

"Math Team Canada 2011 has displayed tremendous talent and ability on the world stage," said Jacques Hurtubise, President of the Canadian Mathematical Society. "Their performance truly reflects Canadian student excellence."

"Although the students wrote their contest papers individually, their success has been very much a team effort," said Dorette Pronk, team leader of Math Team Canada 2011. "It is wonderful and fitting to see each member of this team go home with a medal. They are all amazing problem solvers."

For more information, please contact:

Laura Alyea
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 722-2662 ext. 728
or Dr. Christopher Small, Chair
CMS IMO Committee
University of Waterloo
519-888-4567 ext. 35541

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

The CMS is the national mathematics organization whose goal is to promote the advancement, discovery, learning, and application of mathematics. The Society's activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including: scientific meetings, research publications, and the promotion of excellence in mathematics education at all levels. The CMS annually sponsors mathematics awards and prizes that recognize outstanding achievements.

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