July 18, 2006


Competing against students from 89 other countries, Canadian high school students have done extremely well with all six students winning medals at the 47th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from July 6-18, 2006.

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).

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

At the 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.

"Our 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 Canada's IMO team.

Although students compete individually, country rankings are obtained by adding the teams' scores. The maximum score for each student is 42 and for a team of six students the maximum is 252. The Canadian team placed 15th out of 90 competing countries with a score of 123.

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. Prior to leaving for the 47th IMO, the team trained at Dalhousie University from June 24th to July 2nd and in Ljubljana, Slovenia from July 3rd to July 10th.

The 2006 IMO contest was set by an international jury of mathematicians, one from each country, and was written on Wednesday July 12th and Thursday July 13th. On each day of the contest, three questions had to be solved within a time limit of four and a half hours. Team members must be less than 20 years old when they write the IMO.

The top 10 teams and their scores are: China (214); Russia (174); Korea (170); Germany (157); USA (154); Romania (152); Japan (146); Iran (145); Moldova (140); and Taiwan (136).

The team will be returning to Canada today (July 18th), arriving at Pearson International Airport (Terminal 1) on Austrian Airlines flight 71 at 2:45 PM.

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 mathématiques; 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.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Graham P. Wright
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 290-3046 (Cell)
(613) 562-5702 (CMS Office)