July 31, 2007


In competition with students from 92 other countries, Canadian high school students have done extremely well. Four students won medals and one student received an honourable mention at the 48thInternational Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Hanoi, Vietnam, from July 19 to July 31, 2007.

The six students who competed for Canada were: Kent Huynh, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto (Ontario); Steven Karp, Lord Byng Secondary School, Vancouver (British Columbia); Jonathan Schneider, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto (Ontario); Yan (Cynthia) Li, Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute, Scarborough (Ontario); Alexander Remorov, William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute, North York (Ontario); and Chengyue (Jarno) Sun, Western Canada High School, Calgary (Alberta).

The team was accompanied by the Team Leader Dr. Bill Sands (University of Calgary), Calgary, Alberta, the Deputy Team Leader, Mr. Adrian Tang (University of Calgary) and the Deputy Observer, Ms. Minh-Lac Bui.

At the Closing Ceremony on July 30th, a Silver Medal was awarded to Alexander Remorov and Bronze Medals to Kent Huynh, Steven Karp, and Yan (Cynthia) Li. Chengyue (Jarno) Sun received an Honourable Mention.

"It was a very good result from a new and young team. We are very pleased with the team performance and the four medals they received and I am proud of their achievements" said Bill Sands.

"The IMO is the world championship high school mathematics competition. The problems were difficult and 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 team scores. The maximum score for each student is 42 and for a team of six students the maximum is 252. The Canadian team placed 27th out of 93 competing countries with a score of 98.

Since 1981, Canadian students have received a total of 16 gold, 35 silver, and 61 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 48th IMO, the team trained at the University of Calgary and at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) in Banff, Alberta from July 6th to July 22nd. For the first time, the Mexican team joined the Canadian team for the training sessions at BIRS.

The 2007 IMO contest was set by an international jury of mathematicians, one from each country, and was written on Wednesday July 25th and Thursday July 26th. 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: Russia (184); China (181); South Korea (168); Vietnam (168); USA (155); Japan (154); Ukraine (154); North Korea (151); Bulgaria (149); and Taiwan (149).

The team will be returning to Canada today (July 31st), in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. For further details contact the Canadian Mathematical Society.

Sponsors of the 2007 Canadian IMO team include: the Canadian Mathematical Society; the Imperial Oil Foundation; Sun Life Financial; the Ontario Ministry of Education; Alberta Learning; Nova Scotia Department of Education; the Newfoundland and Labrador Ministry of Education; the Northwest Territories Ministry of Education; the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education; the Samuel Beatty Fund; Maplesoft; the Banff International Research Station; the Fields Institute; the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences; 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, University of Toronto; the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, University of Waterloo and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University.

The 49thInternational Mathematical Olympiad will take place in Madrid, Spain, in July 2008.

For more information, contact:

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