May 29, 2007


OTTAWA, Ontario -- Six of Canada's best high school mathematics students have been chosen to represent their country at the 48th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). The IMO is the world championship mathematics competition for high school students and is being held this year in Hanoi, Vietnam from July 19 to July 31, 2007.

"The 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 six students - 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) -- were selected from among more than 200,000 students in grades 7 to 12 (plus CEGEP) who participated in local, provincial and national mathematics contests.

The Canadian team members, who must be less than 20 years old when they write the IMO competition, will be pitting their skills against more than 500 of the world's best students from over 90 countries. The IMO competition paper, which is set by an international jury of mathematicians, will be written on Wednesday, July 25 and Thursday, July 26 and the medals awarded on Monday, July 30. The contest consists of two exams, each consisting of three questions on each day with a time limit of four and one-half hours. "It is a highly challenging mathematical "hexathlon" and these are our Canadian mathletes," commented Wright.

The team will be 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.

Canada first sent a team to an IMO competition in 1981 (Washington, USA). Since then, Canadian students have done very well, receiving a total of 16 gold, 34 silver, and 58 bronze medals. At last year's IMO in Ljubljana, (Slovenia), the Canadian team placed 15th out of the 90 competing countries and won six medals.

"These competitions allow Canadian high school students to compare their results with the best of those in other countries," said Dr. Edward Barbeau, University of Toronto and Chair of the CMS Mathematical Competitions Committee. "It should be noted that Canadian students do very well even though in many countries high school finishes at age 19."

The six students will be attending a special IMO Training Camp at the University of Calgary and at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) in Banff, Alberta from July 6 to July 22, 2007. The IMO Team Send-off Luncheon will be held on July 10 at 12:00 AM. The media can meet the team at 11:00 AM on July 10th in the Learning Commons, 5th Floor, Biological Sciences Building, University of Calgary. The team will leave for Vietnam on July 22 and will return to Canada on July 31, 2007.

In addition to the Canadian Mathematical Society, sponsors of the 2007 Canadian IMO team include: 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; 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.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Graham P. Wright
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 562-5702
Cel: (613) 290-3046

Dr. Ed Barbeau
Chair - Mathematical Competitions Committee
Department of Mathematics
University of Toronto
Tel: (416)-653-1961