MEDIA RELEASE — July 16, 2015

Canadian Mathematical Society

July 16, 2015

Math Team Canada places 9th at the International Mathematical Olympiad

Canadian mathlete, Alex Song, ranked number one in the world

Left to right: Jinhao (Hunter) Xu, James Rickards (Observer), Kevin Sun, Jacob Tsimerman (Leader), Zhuo Qun (Alex) Song,
Lindsey Shorser (Deputy Leader), Alexander Whatley, Michael Pang, Yan (Bill) Huang

OTTAWA — Math Team Canada placed ninth out of 104 countries at the 56th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The team achieved impressive individual results. Zhuo Qun (Alex) Song (Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, N.H.) and Kevin Sun (Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, N.H.) both earned gold medals and Yan (Bill) Huang (West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, West Windsor, N.J.) Michael Pang (Fort Richmond Collegiate, Winnipeg, Man.), Alexander Whatley (North Houston Academy of Science and Mathematics, Houston, Texas) and Jinhao (Hunter) Xu (University Hill Secondary School, Vancouver, B.C.) earned bronze medals.

“Math Team Canada has, once again, performed exceptionally well at the IMO,” said Bill Sands, Chair of the Canadian Mathematical Society’s Mathematical Competitions Committee. “These students have worked extremely hard to compete on the world stage and they can take great pride in having represented Canada with such great performances and international achievements.”

Alex Song had a record-breaking sixth and final year at the IMO. He was the only student to achieve a perfect score on the challenging two-day, four hour and 30 minute exam. Alex now holds the world record for IMO medals and currently is ranked by the IMO as the top mathematics student in the world.

“Alex is a highly talented student who has developed incredible problem solving skills and insights,” said Dorette Pronk, Chair of the CMS International Mathematical Olympiad Committee. “His incredible performances over the years have earned him the top spot in the IMO Hall of Fame.”

Math Team Canada was selected through several CMS competitions, including the Sun Life Financial Canadian Mathematical Olympiad. The team trained for two weeks at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS), before travelling to Thailand to compete. Team Leader Jacob Tsimerman and Deputy Leader Lindsey Shorser, both University of Toronto faculty, led the team through their training. James Rickards (University of Cambridge) acted as an Observer for the team.

The Canadian Mathematical Society has staged Canadian participation in the IMO since 1981. This is the second consecutive year that the team has placed ninth. The team placed 9th at the 2014 IMO in Cape Town, South Africa. The 2016 IMO will be July 6 to 16 in Hong Kong

About the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO)

The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is the world championship high school mathematics competition. The IMO began in 1959 in Romania with seven participating countries. Math Team Canada has earned 29 gold, 47 silver, 84 bronze medals and 17 honourable mentions, since first competing in 1981.

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

Founded in 1945, the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) promotes the advancement, discovery, learning and application of mathematics. The CMS promotes mathematics through a rich array of activities including scientific meetings, publications, awards, prizes, grants, camps and competitions. For more information visit

For more information, please contact:

Julie Bortolotti
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
613-733-2662 ext. 728
or Dorette Pronk (Dalhousie)
Chair, International Mathematical Olympiad Committee
Tel: 902-494-3732