Media Release – April 21, 2020
Canadian Mathematical Society

Canadian Girls’ Math Team Wins Two Medals and an Honourable Mention at the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad

Picture of EGMO contestants and their leaders

OTTAWA, Ontario — The Canadian Mathematical Society is pleased to announce that Girls’ Math Team Canada has won one Silver, one Bronze and an Honourable Mention in the 2020 European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad.

EGMO 2020, which was supposed to take place in Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands this year, was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the virtual nature of it, team leader and CMS Mathematical Competitions Committee Chair, Dr. Dorette Pronk, says, “this was still a real Math Olympiad with real problems and real medals!” Writing the competition in the confines of your own bedroom could also have an impact on the result and the ambiance of the competitions according to Dr. Pronk:

Having a virtual EGMO doesn’t bring the same sense of community as an in-person contest with activities and discussions surrounding it. I am proud of our team who continued to train and prepare for this competition while under lockdown and took the opportunity to demonstrate their talent on international stage under very unusual circumstances. I personally hope that our first-time team members will be able to return next year and experience the encouragement of being part of and meeting with a large international community of women mathematicians and problem solvers.

The 2020 Canadian EGMO team was led by CMS Mathematical Competitions Committee Chair, Professor Dorette Pronk (Dalhousie) and Deputy Leader Diana Castañeda Santos (University of Waterloo). The team was trained at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, in Toronto from February 6-10th with remote training during the week leading up to the competition. Jacob Tsimerman, Elnaz Hessami Pilehrood, David Spivak, and Mariya Sardarli all assisted with the training. Deputy leader, Diana Castañeda Santos says:

Our team came up with unique and original solutions to some of the problems and I was impressed to see the level of creativity and involvement from all the members on our team. Their efforts and commitment during the competition and the days following, show the effectiveness of EGMO in keeping math discussions active among our girls. Congratulations Math Team Canada!

This year, 204 contestants participated from 53 countries in the EGMO.

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 for which the Society is very grateful. The Society would also like to acknowledge the organizers of the Winter Training Camp at York and The Fields Institute for hosting the Girls’ training camp. The CMS is also thankful for the support of RBC Foundation, the Actuarial Foundation of Canada, NSERC Young Innovators and PromoScience grants and 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:

Jennifer Wang, Silver Medal – University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, ON
Anna Krokhine, Bronze Medal – University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, ON
Siyu (Elaine) Liu, Honourable Mention- Appleby College, Oakville, ON
Amelie Zhou – Marc Garneau CI, Toronto, ON

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 2019 Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC) written in November, as well as a Team Selection Test that was sent to the top 15 girls from the 2019 COMC. The 2021 EGMO competition will be held in Kutaisi, Georgia.

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 Dr. Termeh Kousha
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 733-2662 ext. 713