July 10, 2007

Canada's Olympic "mathletes" flex their brains at U of C

Six of Canada's top minds in high school mathematics are training at the University of Calgary this week in preparation for the 48th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), which will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam from July 19-31, 2007.

The team is attending a special IMO Training Camp at the University of Calgary from July 6-10 before moving to the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) at the Banff Centre to train until July 21. Joining the training at BIRS for the first time will be the Mexican team, consisting of six students and one leader. A send-off reception and demonstrations will take place at the University of Calgary on July 10.

"These six students have demonstrated the exceptional problem solving skills and creativity that is essential to compete against the very best at the international level," said Dr. Graham Wright, Executive Director of the Canadian Mathematical Society, the organization responsible for the selection and training of Canada's IMO team. "They represent the best of our students and will be excellent ambassadors for Canada."

The Canadian IMO team members - including one from Calgary - were selected from among more than 200,000 students in grades 7-12 who participated in local, provincial and national mathematics contests. While in Hanoi, they will be pitting their skills against more than 500 of the world's best math students from 98 countries.

"Canadians should look out for these six students in the future," said Bill Sands, Team Leader and U of C mathematics professor. U of C graduate student Adrian Tang will be joining Sands as the team's Deputy Leader, as will Deputy Leader Observer Ms. Minh-Lac Bui.

Since 1981, Canadian students have received a total of 16 gold, 34 silver, and 58 bronze medals at the IMO. Last year's team won five silver medals and one bronze in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The 2007 Canadian team consists of Chengyue (Jarno) Sun, Western Canada High School, Calgary; Kent Huynh, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto; Steven Karp, Lord Byng Secondary School, Vancouver; Jonathan Schneider, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto; Yan (Cynthia) Li, Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute, Scarborough, Ontario; and Alexander Remorov, William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute, North York, Ontario. Joining the team and Calgary leaders at the July 10 send-off will be six students from Alberta and British Columbia who are training with the team in hopes of becoming future math Olympians.

Media Contacts

Dr. Graham P. Wright
Executive Director, Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 562-5800 ext 3528 or cell: (613) 290-3046
     Jag Kaur Samra
Communications Associate, Faculty of Science
(403) 220-4269 or cell: (403) 921-7476