MEDIA RELEASE — July 7, 2012

Canadian Mathematical Society

July 7, 2012


High School Students leave for International Mathematical Olympiad

OTTAWA, Ontario — Six of Canada’s top high school mathematics students left today to compete in the 53rd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Mar del Plata, Argentina, from July 8-16. The students were selected for Math Team Canada 2012 by the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) and have completed an intensive training program in order to prepare for this prestigious competition.

The members of Math Team Canada 2012 are: Matthew Brennan, Upper Canada College, Toronto, ON; Calvin Deng, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Cary, NC; James Rickards, Colonel By S.S., Ottawa, ON; Alex Song, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH; Daniel Spivak, Bayview Secondary School, Toronto, ON; and Kevin Zhou, Woburn Collegiate Institute, Toronto, ON. The students will represent Canada at the IMO and were chosen from among the thousands of students who participated in mathematics competitions across Canada.

For the past two weeks, the students have been trained and coached by the CMS at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS). The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, helped send off Math Team Canada 2012 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 the kids go through at the camp is designed to both teach them new material, and prepare them for the intense two-day, nine hour exam at the IMO.They will have daily lectures and problem-solving sessions in algebra, number theory, geometry, combinatorics and other subjects,” said Jacob Tsimerman, leader of Math Team Canada 2012. “Also, we will give them mock exams both to hone their problem-solving ability and put them in the right mental state to take such a long exam. You can teach all the theory you want, but the most important thing by far is lots and lots of practice; this is why spending time solving problems is so important."

This year, Math Team Canada 2012 will use their collective skills against the best students from over 100 countries with the goal of receiving a gold, silver or bronze medal and a high overall team standing for Canada.

“I am confident our team’s extensive training at BIRS will result in a stellar performance at the IMO,” said Robert Morewood, Chair of the CMS Committee responsible for Canada’s participation at the IMO. “Historically, Canada has always done very well during this competition. To date, we have won a total of 20 gold, 43 silver and 73 bronze medals.”

Math Team Canada will return from Mar del Plata on July 17 and the results of the IMO will be available shortly thereafter.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Robert Morewood, Chair
Chair, IMO Committee
Canadian Mathematical Society
or Jessica St-James
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 722-2662 ext. 728

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.