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  Australia Gains Ground at IMO

Posted Monday 12 July 2010.

The Australian team has gained major ground at the 51st International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Astana, Kazakhstan, held from 02 to 14 July. With 96 countries participating Australia's position has improved this year from 23rd position in 2009 to 15th position this year.

The team has won a Gold Medal, 3 Silver Medals and a Bronze Medal. The Gold Medal has been won by Aaron Chong, of Doncaster Secondary College in Melbourne. The Silver Medals have been won by Sampson Wong and Stacey Law, both of James Ruse Agricultural High School in Sydney, and Kiho Park, of Mount Waverley Secondary College in Melbourne. The Bronze Medal has been won by Timothy Large, of Sydney Grammar School.

Three of these students also won medals in the 2009 IMO, on that occasion Sampson winning Gold, Aaron Silver and Stacey Bronze.

Increasing its ranking in this way Australia had higher scores for the first time than major countries such as Iran, Romania and Bulgaria, each of which had been the top-ranked country at IMO at some time since 1996. For the first time in many years Australia also defeated Taiwan, and they defeated Great Britain, which had defeated Australia just a week before in the annual Mathematics Ashes.

Team Leader and Director of Training Dr Angelo Di Pasquale, himself a former IMO medallist, is clearly playing a pivotal role in the team success, but gives credit to the team for their harmony, years of hard work, and application.


The team after the Closing Ceremony in Astana, from left Aaron, Timothy, Stacey, Kiho, David and Sampson.

Professor Peter Taylor, Executive Director of the Australian Mathematics Trust, which administers Australia's participation in this UNESCO sanctioned event for competition between the world's most talented secondary students, paid tribute to the students, Dr Di Pasquale, his Deputy Ivan Guo (himself a former IMO Gold Medallist) and a large team of former IMO students who train the teams on a voluntary basis. "We have a large infrastructure of people acting in goodwill who are transferring their knowledge to the next generations in a very generous way", he noted.

Professor Taylor noted that this event was the tip of the iceberg of a larger program run by the Trust in which hundreds of thousands of students participate and benefit, starting at the Australian Mathematics Competition and continuing through the Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians and its enrichment stage.

Professor Taylor also acknowledged large support from the Australian Government through its Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and also significant support from the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers and the Australian Mathematical Society.

Results of the Australian students are:

    NAME YR Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6
Gold Medal   CHONG Aaron
Doncaster Secondary College VIC
12 7 7 1 7 7 0 29
Bronze Medal   LARGE, Timothy
Sydney Grammar School NSW
11 7 1 0 7 0 0 15
Silver Medal   LAW Stacey
James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW
12 7 7 0 7 1 0 22
Silver Medal   PARK Kiho
Mount Waverley Secondary College VIC
12 7 7 0 7 2 0 23
Hon Men   VASAK David
Sydney Grammar School NSW
12 6 0 0 7 1 0 14
Silver Medal   WONG Sampson
James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW
12 7 7 1 7 0 3 25
  TOTALS 41 29 2 42 11 3

The country scores below are for the leading 30 countries. There may be errors.

1. China 197
2. Russia 169
3. USA 168
4. South Korea 156
5. Kazakhstan 148
5. Thailand 148
7. Japan 141
8. Turkey 139
9. Germany 138
10. Serbia 135
11. Italy 133
11. Vietnam 133
13. Canada 129
13. Hungary 129
15. Australia 128
16. Iran 127
16. Romania 127
18. Peru 124
19. Taiwan 123
20. Hong Kong 121
21. Bulgaria 118
22. Singapore 117
22. Ukraine 117
24. Poland 116
25. Great Britain 114
26. Uzbekistan 112
27. Belarus 110
28. Azerbaijan 109
29. New Zealand 106
30. France 105
30. Indonesia 105

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