June 27, 2006

Canada's Olympic "mathletes" training at Dalhousie University

Canada's best high school math students are training at Dalhousie University this week for the 47th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), held in Ljubljana, Slovenia from July 6 to July 18, 2006.

The team arrived at Dalhousie June 24 for a special IMO training camp and will be in Halifax until they depart for Slovenia on July 2. Five Maritime high school students, three from the Halifax area and two from Fredericton, are training with the "mathletes" as invited guests with the goal of developing their math skills.

The team was given an official sendoff today at Dalhousie's University Club. The six competitors were presented with their official uniforms and the local high school students were presented with gifts for their contribution. Speakers included: Donna Karsten, Nova Scotia Department of Education; Dr. Graham Wright, Executive Director, Canadian Mathematical Society; and Jonathan Borwein, Canada Research Chair in Collaborative Technology at Dalhousie University and Director of the Atlantic Association for Research in the Mathematical Sciences.

"These are exceptional students who will be competing against the very best problem-solvers at the international level," said Dr. Wright. "They have shown excellence in problem-solving and creativity and represent the great potential of our students across the country."

Team members were selected from among more than 200,000 students in grades 7-12 who participated in local, provincial and national math contests. While in Ljubljana, they will pit their skills against over 500 of the world's best math students from more than 90 countries. At last year's IMO in Mérida, Mexico, the Canadian team placed 19th out of the 91 competing countries and took home five medals. Canada has won over 100 medals at the IMO since first fielding a team in 1981.

The 2006 team consists of 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, Agincourt (Ontario) and Yufei Zhao, Don Mills Collegiate Institute, Toronto (Ontario). The team is sponsored by the Canadian Mathematical Society; the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Dalhousie University; the Nova Scotia Department of Education; Imperial Oil Foundation; Sun Life Financial; Centre de recherches mathématiques; the Fields Institute; the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences; Maplesoft; MathResources Inc., among others.

The five Maritime students training with the team are: from Halifax - Kevin Conrad, Prince Andrew Junior High School; Linhe (Jack) Li, Queen Elizabeth High School; Ethan MacAulay, Halifax Grammar School; from Fredericton - Joseph Kileel and Wendy Nie, Fredericton High School.

For more information on the Canadian Mathematical Society, see

Media inquiries, contact:

Dr. Graham P. Wright, Executive Director, Canadian Mathematical Society, cell: 613-290-3046, ph: 613-562-5702, e-mail:

Ryan McNutt, Public Relations Assistant, Dalhousie University, ph: 494-6035, e-mail: