Media Release – April 19, 2021
Canadian Mathematical Society

Creative Mathematical Skills Awarded at the 53rd Canadian Mathematical Olympiad and the 2nd Canadian Junior Mathematical Olympiad

OTTAWA, Ontario- The Canadian Mathematical Society is pleased to announce the results of the 53rd Canadian Mathematical Olympiad (CMO), Canada’s premier mathematics competition which was written by nearly 90 students from some 50 different schools on March 11, 2021.

The students were selected based on their performance on the Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (written Oct. 29/30, 2020) and the Canadian Mathematical Olympiad Qualifying Repêchage (written February 16 – 23, 2021).

Canadian Mathematical Olympiad Committee Chair Professor Alina Stancu offered her congratulations to the top competitors for their outstanding achievements, and also to all participants who have competed for engaging in this mathematical challenge and for daring to test their problem-solving skills. She added:

I was very happy to see this strong group of competitors despite a year of nonstandard school activities and other potentially perturbing events. Their passion for mathematics was undoubtedly an enjoyable constant through these varying times.

The competition’s FIRST PRIZE and CMO Cup go to Warren Bei. Warren is a grade-7 student from Vancouver, BC:

In grade 3, once I found a book by Martin Gardner about interesting mathematical puzzles, which made me very fascinated in the logic behind surprising mathematical coincidences. Since then, I started self-studying mathematics and began to participate in competitions in grade 4, which continued to challenge me.

Mathematics has also inspired Warren interest in other subjects: he plays the piano and the cello and sometimes composes his own pieces. And is interested in ways to “capture infinity” and symmetry in music.

Second Prize

  • Thomas Guo (Philips Exeter Academy, Exeter, USA)
  •  Zhening Li (Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School, Waterloo, ON)
  • Arvin Sahami (Richmond Hill World School, Richmond Hill, ON)
  • Eric Shen (University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, ON)

Honourable Mentions:

  • Kaylee Ji (Lexington High School, Lexington, MA, USA)
  • Alec Le Helloco (Lycée Blaise Pascal, Orsay, France)
  • Kevin Min (Cupertino High School, Cupertino, CA, USA)
  • Zixiang Zhou  (London Central Secondary School, London, ON)

Best Solution Prize

In honour of IMO leader and former Olympian, the late Matthew Brennan, who sadly left too soon and unexpectedly, the CMS, in partnership with Matthew’s parents, is awarding $500-dollar Matthew Brennen prize for the best solution. This year, this prize went to Warren Bei.

Chair of the IMO committee, James Rickards (McGill), who also oversees the CMJO says:

Problem 5 was a very difficult game theory question, where only two students received non-zero marks. Warren had an extremely clever solution, where he showed that you could translate the game into Nim. By using the winning strategy for Nim, he was able to finish the problem.

Warren had this to say about his solution:

I found problem 5 the most interesting. When I read the problem, at first I thought that it was about guessing a periodic pattern in the Grundy numbers, but later I found that the game had a more complex but surprising theory, which was similar to Nim. I think the game was particularly ingeniously designed, and it was a great honour to win the Matthew Brennan prize, which also reminded me that mathematics is about searching for elegant solutions to problems.

CJMO 2021

Moreover, the Canadian Mathematical Society held the 2nd Canadian Junior Mathematical Olympiad (CJMO) that gives a similar opportunity for competing to younger students who do not write the CMO. Twenty students, grades 8 to 10, from almost as many schools, were invited to write the 2nd edition of CJMO on March 11, 2021. The CMO committee found the junior competition to be a rewarding and useful experience for its participants who are likely to be seen competing in CMO next year or so.

The 2021 Canadian Junior Mathematical Olympiad winners are Maggie Pang (Marc Garneau C.I., ON) and William Zhao (Windemere Ranch Middle School, CA, USA)

Three other students were recognized with Honourable Mention. They are, in alphabetical order:

  • Emily Quingle Liu (Marc Garneau C.I., ON),
  • Raymond Wang (University Transition Program, Vancouver, BC),
  • and Richard Zhang (Georges Vanier Secondary School, North York, ON)

Canadian Mathematical Society is congratulating all junior students and wishes them success in future competitions.

See the complete results here.

The Society would like to acknowledge the Premier Sponsors as well as other corporate, government, and academic partners.

About the Canadian Mathematical Olympiad
The Canadian Mathematical Olympiad (CMO) is Canada’s premier national advanced mathematics competition. Candidates require an invitation from the Canadian Mathematical Society in order to participate.

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)
The CMS is the main national organization whose goal is to promote and advance the discovery, learning and application of mathematics. The Society’s activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including meetings, research publications, and the promotion of excellence in mathematics competitions that recognize outstanding student achievements.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Alina Stancu (Concordia)
Chair, Canadian Mathematical Olympiad Committee
Canadian Mathematical Society
or James Rickards (McGill)
Chair, Canadian Mathematical Olympiad Committee
Canadian Mathematical Society