MEDIA RELEASE — July 13, 2010

Canadian Mathematical Society
Imperial Oil Foundation

July 13, 2010
Imperial Oil Foundation


Strong student performance advances Canada’s international ranking

OTTAWA, Ontario — A team of six Canadian high school students have placed 13th overall at the 51st International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) held in Astana, Kazakhstan from July 5 to July 14. The team competed against students from 96 other countries and was awarded two gold, one silver and two bronze medals, and one honourable mention.


The International Mathematical Olympiad is the world championship high school mathematics competition. The 2010 IMO contest was set by an international jury of mathematicians, one from each country, and was written on July 7th and July 8th. On each day of the contest, three questions had to be solved within a time limit of four and a half hours.

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 13th out of 96 competing countries with an overall score of 129. The 2010 results bring Canada’s total medal count since 1981 to 19 gold, 41 silver, and 70 bronze.

Canada’s success at the IMO would not be possible without the assistance of our corporate and provincial sponsors. In addition to the support of our major sponsor, the Imperial Oil Foundation, the CMS gratefully acknowledges the education activity support of the following organizations:

  • Sun Life Financial
  • NSERC PromoScience
  • Samuel Beatty Fund
  • Nelson Education
  • Department of Education (Alberta)
  • Department of Education (Manitoba)
  • Department of Education (New Brunswick)
  • Department of Education (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Department of Education (Northwest Territories)
  • Department of Education (Nova Scotia)
  • Department of Education (Nunavut)
  • Ministry of Education (Ontario)
  • Ministère de l’Éducation, Loisir et Sport (Québec)
  • Department of Education (Saskatchewan)
  • Department of Education (Yukon)
  • Centre de recherches mathématiques (CRM)
  • The Fields Institute
  • The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS)
  • Wilfrid Laurier University

Team Canada biographies (PDF)

Wilfrid Laurier press release

The six Canadian students - Yu (Robin) Cheng, Pinetree Secondary School (Coquitlam, BC); Alex Song, Detroit Country Day School (Detroit, MI); Hunter Spink, Western Canada High School (Calgary, AB); Chen Sun, A.B. Lucas Secondary School (London, ON); Yuqi Zhu, University Hill Secondary School (Vancouver, BC); and Jonathan Zung, University of Toronto Schools (Toronto, ON) – were selected from among the many thousands of students in grades 7 to 12 and CEGEP’s who participated in local, provincial and national mathematics contests across Canada.

At the IMO closing ceremonies, gold medals were awarded to Yu (Robin) Cheng and Hunter Spink, a silver medal to Chen Sun, bronze medals to Yuqi Zhu and Alex Song, and an honourable mention to Jonathan Zung. Of special note, Yu (Robin) Cheng and Hunter Spink were ranked 7th and 11th in the world respectively.

“This year’s Math Team Canada has displayed tremendous talent and ability on the world stage,” remarked Jacques Hurtubise, President of the Canadian Mathematical Society. “The students were wonderful ambassadors for Canada and everyone involved in supporting the team is proud of their achievements.”

The students will be returning to Canada on July 14, arriving in Toronto, London, Calgary and Vancouver.

For more information, contact:

Johan Rudnick,
Executive Director
Canadian Mathematical Society
Tel: (613) 733-2662
or Christopher Small,
Chair, IMO Committee
Dept. of Statistics and Actuarial Science
University of Waterloo
Tel: (519) 888-4567 ext. 35541

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

The CMS is the main national organization whose goal is to promote and advance the discovery, learning, and application of mathematics. The Society's activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including: scientific meetings, research publications, and the promotion of excellence in mathematics education at all levels. The CMS annually sponsors mathematics competitions that recognize outstanding student achievements.