Media Release – April 27, 2021
Canadian Mathematical Society

Canadian Girls’ Math Team Wins Its First Gold at the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Mathematical Society is pleased to announce that Girls’ Math Team Canada has won one Gold and one Silver medal in the 2021 European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad. This is the first time a female Olympian has won a gold medal at the EGMO!

EGMO 2021, which was supposed to take place in Kutaisi, Georgia this year, was held in a hybrid format this year and the Canadian team participated virtually for the second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 Canadian EGMO team was led by Team Leader and University of Chicago student, Mariya Sardarli and Deputy Leader Elnaz Hessami Pilehrood, a University of Toronto Student. The team was trained remotely throughout March. Former IMO participants, Edgar Wang, Howard Halim, Yuquing Wu as well as IMO leaders James Rickards and Jacob Tsimerman helped with the training.

Mariya Sardarli was inspired by the hard work of the students: “It was inspiring to see the hard work of students, not only in the weeks leading up to the competition, but also in the many month before. Even in these unusual times, the students’ excitement and passion for mathematics shined.”

Elnaz Hessami regrets that the girls did not get a chance to meet students from other countries, but hopes that they found a bigger community of young women mathematicians in Canada:

“Due to the remote online training and testing, we were able to involve more students in our training, and spread our training over a longer period of time. We appreciate all the hard work the members put in to practice their problem-solving skills and learn new mathematics during these unusual times. It was a pleasure reading all the solutions the team had come up with! Everyone showed great creativity and problem-solving skills tackling the challenging problems presented over two days. We are very proud of our team this year!”

Former EGMO Team Canada Leader and the chair of CMS Mathematical Competitions Committee praised the hard work of competitors, leaders and all trainers who contributed their time and skills and said:

“Although the competition is written by each student individually, the training and preparation is truly team work. I am very pleased with the first gold medal for Canada’s EGMO team, and I look forward to seeing what each of these girls will do as she continues to pursue her dreams and explores her talents. I hope that they have all experienced that they are a valued member of the Canadian and worldwide math community!”

Canada’s presence at the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad was made possible in large part due to the financial support of the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Mathematics and the RBC Foundation for which the Society is very grateful. The Society would also like to acknowledge the organizers of the Winter Training Camp at York University. The CMS is also thankful for the support of the Actuarial Foundation of Canada, NSERC and the Samuel Beatty Fund. This support enabled the Society to send a Canadian team to this important event and celebrate the achievements of girls in STEM.

Canada’s Team consisted of:

Kaylee Ji, Gold Medal ─ Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, NJ
Jennifer Wang, Silver Medal – University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, ON
Allison Tsypin ─ Marianopolis College, Westmount, QC
Yfan (Emma) Tang ─ University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, ON

Jennifer Wang is this years Samuel Beatty EGMO student. For former Samuel Beatty students and reports please visit our EGMO page.

About the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO)

The EGMO competition was started in 2012 when it was first written in Cambridge, UK and has since grown to include more than 50 countries. Participation in the EGMO is by invitation only. Each student competes individually to solve six questions in a competition lasting two days, four and a half hours each day. The Girls Math Team Canada was selected largely based on the results of the 2020 Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC) written in November, as well as two Team Selection Tests in January and February 2021. EGMO 2022 will be taking place in Eger, Hungary.

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

Founded in 1945, the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) promoted the advancement, discovery, learning and application of mathematics in Canada. The CMS promotes mathematics through a rich array of activities including scientific meetings, publications, awards, prizes, grants, camps and competitions.

For more information on EGMO Math Team Canada, please contact:

Professor Dorette Pronk
Leader, EGMO Math Team Canada
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (902) 494-3732
or Sarah Watson
Competitions Manager
Canadian Mathematical Society