Maths and coding whizzes vie for places on Australia’s Olympiad teams

Maths and coding whizzes vie for places on Australia’s Olympiad teams

Top performing high school students from around Australia have recently finished 10-day intensive selection schools at Macquarie University to compete for a small number of places on national teams for the international mathematical and informatics Olympiads.

Twenty-five students were invited to the Australian Mathematical Olympiad Committee (AMOC) Selection School and 16 students were invited to the Australian Informatics Olympiad Committee (AIOC) Selection School, which wrapped up on 19 and 20 April respectively. The selection schools, which were coordinated by the Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT), taught a variety of advanced problem-solving skills relevant to many university courses and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The AMT will select the teams to represent Australia at this year’s International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) and International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). Six IMO and four IOI team members will be officially announced and presented with their Australian team blazers at a ceremony in Parliament House, Canberra, on 20 June. Most of the AMOC Selection School students are in contention to join the IMO team, while 10 junior maths students, ranging from year 7 to 10, trained in a bid to be considered for IMO teams in future years.

Seyoon Ragavan, a year 12 from Knox Grammar School in New South Wales, is aiming to be selected for the fourth time on the IMO team. He won a Gold medal at last year’s Olympiad and Bronze medals in 2013 and 2014. Year 12 students Ilia Kucherov, from Westall Secondary College in Victoria, and Kevin Xian, from James Ruse Agricultural High School in NSW, are hoping to be selected for the second time—both of them won Silver medals at the 2015 IMO.

Year 12 student Declan McDonnell, from Normanhurst Boys High School in NSW, and year 10 student Jerry Mao, from Caulfield Grammar School in Victoria, are aiming to be selected for the second time on the IOI team. Both of them won Bronze medals in 2015.

The IMO and IOI are part of the UNESCO-sanctioned International Science and Mathematics Olympiads, annual worldwide competitions for exceptionally talented secondary school students from more than 100 countries. The Olympiads are the premier international competitions for students of pre-university level and represent the pinnacle of high school achievement in each discipline. This will be the 28th IOI, which is the second largest and most recently established of the Olympiads, and it will be held in Kazan, Russia, from 12 to 19 August 2016. The IMO is the largest and the oldest, now in its 57th year, and will be held in Hong Kong from 6 to 16 July 2016.

Optiver is an official sponsor for our Olympiad programs. The mathematics and informatics Olympiads are supported by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training through the Mathematics and Science Participation Program.