Training equals results

- August 17, 2006

The team at Dalhousie in July (Abriel photo)

Their training was as intense as any athleteÕs, leading to a medal-winning performance. Competing against students from 90 other countries, Canadian high school students have done well at the 47th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) Ljubljana, Slovenia. Overall, the Canadian team placed 15th out of 90 countries.

Earlier in the summer, the team completed a training camp organized at Dalhousie by Caroline Adlam, Jill Falkenberg, Dr. Dorette Pronk, Dr. Roman Smirnov and Gretchen Smith of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

The six students who competed for Canada were: Farzin Barekat, Sutherland Secondary School, North Vancouver (British Columbia); Viktoriya Krakovna, Vaughan Road Academy Toronto (Ontario); Yang (Richard) Peng, Vaughan Road Academy, Toronto (Ontario); Dong Uk (David) Rhee, McNally High School, Edmonton (Alberta); Peng Shi, Sir John A. MacDonald Collegiate Institute, Toronto (Ontario); and Yufei Zhao, Don Mills Collegiate Institute, Toronto (Ontario).

Teamwork and talent

The students were accompanied by Team Leader Robert Morewood (Crofton House School, Vancouver) and Deputy Team Leader Naoki Sato (Art of Problem Solving (AoPS) Incorporated).

At the IMO closing ceremony on July 17th, Silver Medals were awarded to Farzin Barekat, Viktoriya Krakovna, Dong Uk (David) Rhee, Peng Shi and Yufei Zhao; and a Bronze Medal to Yang (Richard) Peng. 

ÒOur students really came together as a team. They trained hard and showed their individual strengths. They all made progress on every question in an extremely tough competition. I am proud of their achievements." said Robert Morewood.

"The IMO is the world championship high school mathematics competition. The problems were very difficult and all the Canadian students have done very well. They demonstrated the problem solving skills, knowledge and creativity that is so 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 CanadaÕs IMO team.

A history of success

Since 1981, Canadian students have received a total of 16 gold, 34 silver, and 58 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.

Sponsors of the 2006 Canadian IMO team include: the Canadian Mathematical Society; NSERC PromoScience; the Imperial Oil Foundation; Sun Life Financial; the Ontario Ministry of Education; Alberta Learning; the Nova Scotia Department  of Education; the Newfoundland and Labrador Ministry of Education; the Quebec Ministry of Education; the Northwest Territories Ministry of Education; the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education; the Samuel Beatty Fund; Maplesoft; the Centre de recherches mathŽmatiques; the Fields Institute; the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences; the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, University of Waterloo; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Dalhousie University; 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; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University; and the Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto.

The 48th International Mathematical Olympiad will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, in July 2007.


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