MEDIA RELEASE — February 6, 2013

Canadian Mathematical Society

February 6, 2013


Alex Song wins Gold Medal for perfect COMC score

OTTAWA, Ontario — After competing with thousands of high school students across Canada, three students have received top national honours in the 2012 Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC) — Canada’s premier national mathematics competition.

The Canadian champions are:

  • Alex Song, Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter, NH) - National Gold Medal
  • Zhiyao (John) Ma, Interlake High School (Bellevue, WA) - National Silver Medal
  • Daniel Spivak, Bayview Secondary School (Richmond Hill, ON) - National Bronze Medal

This year’s National Gold Medal winner, Alex Song, earned a perfect score of 80 points. Song has been a member of Math Team Canada for the past three years. Last year, Song and his teammates travelled to Mar del Plata, Argentina to participate in the 53rd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), where Song earned a Gold Medal and placed 4th in the world.

In addition to the students who won top national honours, 65 students were awarded national performance awards at the grade 9, 10, 11, 12 and Cégep level. Another 397 students received awards for outstanding performance within their province. The 2012 COMC resulted in seven students being named on the COMC National Honour Roll and four students being named to the International Honour Roll.

“The COMC is an international math competition that is open to any student who has an interest in mathematics,” said CMS President, Keith Taylor. “The purpose of the COMC is to present students with the opportunity to develop problem solving abilities beyond the current curriculum and to provide teachers with an engaging enrichment activity.”

The COMC is the first in a series of mathematics competitions held by the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) that lead to the selection of Math Team Canada – a group of Canada’s top students who participate at the IMO.

Following the 2012 COMC, 53 students will move directly on to write the Canadian Mathematical Olympiad (CMO). Students who did not qualify for the CMO will be invited to write the CMO qualifying Repêchage competition. The students with the highest CMO scores have the opportunity to be selected to attend this year’s IMO, which will be held in Santa Marta, Colombia.

For more information, please contact:

Robert Woodrow
University of Calgary
Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge Committee Chair
+1 (403) 220-6325
or Jessica St-James
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
+1 (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.