MEDIA RELEASE — July 22, 2008

Canadian Mathematical Society

July 22, 2008

All Canadian students win medals at the 49th
International Mathematical Olympiad in Madrid, Spain

OTTAWA, Ontario — In competition with students from 96 other countries, Canadian high school students have done extremely well with all six students winning medals, two silver and four bronze, at the 49th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Madrid, Spain, from July 10 to July 22, 2008.

The six students who competed for Canada were: Yan (Cynthia) Li, Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute, Scarborough, Ontario; Alexander Remorov, William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute, North York, Ontario; Jonathan Schneider, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, Ontario; XiaoLin (Danny) Shi, Sir Winston Churchill High School, Calgary, Alberta; Chen Sun, A.B. Lucas Secondary School, London, Ontario; and Chengyue (Jarno) Sun, Western Canada High School, Calgary, Alberta.

The team was accompanied by the Team Leader Dr. Felix Recio, Senior Lecturer, University of Toronto; the Deputy Team Leader, Mr. Yufei Zhao, a Canadian IMO gold medalist in 2005 and an undergraduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and the Deputy Leader Observer, Ms. Lindsey Shorser, a graduate student and lecturer, University of Toronto.

At the Closing Ceremony on July 21st, Silver Medals were awarded to Yan (Cynthia) Li and Jonathan Schneider, and Bronze Medals to Alexander Remorov, XiaoLin (Danny) Shi, Chen Sun and Chengyue (Jarno) Sun.

“The Canadian team performed spectacularly with everyone bringing home a medal. The leaders are very proud of their achievements” said Felix Recio.

"The IMO is the world championship high school mathematics competition. The problems were difficult and the talent and creativity displayed by the Canadian team has been outstanding. We are very pleased to see their hard work has been rewarded.” said Dr. Graham Wright, Executive Director of the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS), the organization responsible for the selection and training of Canada’s IMO teams.

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 22nd out of 97 competing countries with a score of 135.

Since 1981, Canadian students have received a total of 16 gold, 37 silver, and 65 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 49th IMO, the team trained at Wilfrid Laurier University from June 27th to July 9th.

The 2008 IMO contest was set by an international jury of mathematicians, one from each country, and was written on Wednesday July 16th and Thursday July 17th. 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 (217); Russia (199); USA (190); South Korea (188); Iran (181); Thailand (175); North Korea (173); Turkey (170); Taiwan (168); and Hungary (165).

The team will be returning to Canada today (July 22nd), in Toronto and Calgary. For further details contact the Canadian Mathematical Society.

In addition to the Canadian Mathematical Society, sponsors of the 2008 Canadian IMO team include: the Imperial Oil Foundation; Sun Life Financial; NSERC PromoScience; the Samuel Beatty Fund; Maplesoft; the Ontario Ministry of Education; Alberta Learning; Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth; Nova Scotia Department of Education; the Newfoundland and Labrador Ministry of Education; the Northwest Territories Ministry of Education; the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education; Centre de recherches mathématiques; the Fields Institute; the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences; 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, University of Toronto; the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing, University of Waterloo; the Department of Mathematics, Wilfrid Laurier University; and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University.

The 50th International Mathematical Olympiad will take place in Bremen, Germany, in July 2009.

For more information, contact:

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