MEDIA RELEASE — July 7, 2011

Canadian Mathematical Society

July 7, 2011


High School Students Begin Intensive Olympiad Training

OTTAWA, Ontario — Six of Canada's top high school mathematics students have been selected for Math Team Canada 2011 by the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) and have started an intensive training program in order to prepare for the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Amsterdam from July 16-24. The IMO is the student world championship of mathematics.


The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is the world championship high school mathematics competition. The IMO began in 1959 in Romania with 7 participating countries. This year, at the 52nd IMO, Math Team Canada will be competing against the world's best students from over 100 countries.

Canada’s success at the IMO would not be possible without the assistance of our corporate and provincial sponsors. The CMS gratefully acknowledges the support of the following organizations:

  • Imperial Oil Foundation
  • Sun Life Financial
  • NSERC PromoScience
  • Samuel Beatty Fund
  • Nelson Education
  • Government of Alberta
  • Government of Manitoba
  • Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Government of Nova Scotia
  • Government of Northwest Territories
  • Government of Ontario
  • Gouvernement de Québec
  • Government of Prince Edward Island
  • Government of Saskatchewan
  • Government of Yukon
  • Banff International Research Station (BIRS)

Team Announcement Press Release

Math Team Canada Biographies (PDF)

The members of Math Team Canada 2011 are: Matthew Brennan, Upper Canada College, Toronto, ON; Heinrich Jiang, Honourable Vincent Massey S.S., Windsor, ON; James Rickards, Colonel By S.S., Ottawa, ON; Mariya Sardarli, Strathcona H.S., Edmonton, AB; Alex Song, Detroit Country Day School, Detroit, MI; and Hunter Spink, Western Canada H.S., Calgary, AB. The students will represent Canada at the IMO and were chosen from among the thousands of students who participated in mathematics competitions across Canada.

The students are being trained and coached by the CMS at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS). The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, helped launch Math Team Canada 2011 with congratulations sent to each student, noting, "On behalf of the Government of Canada, I join with the Canadian Mathematical Society and all Canadians in wishing you great success in your upcoming competition."

"The training consists of three daily lectures on problem-solving techniques in algebra, geometry, number theory, functional equations, combinatorics and probability together with lots of practice time for the students to solve problems and present their solutions," said Prof. Dorette Pronk of Dalhousie University, leader of Math Team Canada 2011. "The students will take mock tests that mirror the complexity of problems they will face during the IMO, where, for two intense days, they are given four-and-a-half hours to solve three quite difficult problems each day."

Math Team Canada 2011 will be pitting their collective skills against the best students from more than 100 countries with the goal of receiving a gold, silver or bronze medal and a high overall team standing for Canada.

"Historically, Canadian students have performed very well at the IMO and the students this year once again reflect the amazing skill and determination needed to successfully compete internationally," said Christopher Small, Chair of the CMS Committee responsible for Canada's participation at the IMO.

The results of the 2011 IMO are expected to become available on Friday July 22. Math Team Canada will return from Amsterdam on July 24.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Christopher Small, Chair
CMS IMO Committee
University of Waterloo
519-888-4567 ext. 35541
or Laura Alyea
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 722-2662 ext. 728

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

The CMS is the national mathematics organization whose goal is to promote the advancement, 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 awards and prizes that recognize outstanding achievements.