While the world watches the 2021 Olympics Games, students from Australia have pushed through the challenges of COVID-19 to bring home medals from another international competition.
Six Australian high school students persevered through extraordinary circumstances and months of rigorous training to compete in this year’s International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).
Supported by the Australian Maths Trust (AMT), the students’ grit, talent and preparation paid off with the Australian team bringing home two golds, two silvers, one bronze and an honourable mention in a competition that attracted more than 107 countries and 619 students worldwide.
The team placed 18th in the competition and gold medallist Hadyn Tang was Australia’s highest ranked IMO competitor, coming in at 24th out of 619 competitors.
The prestigious event has been running for more than 60 years and is normally held face-to-face in a host country, but this is the second year that competitors have trained and competed virtually due to COVID.
The Australian Maths Trust (AMT) CEO, Nathan Ford, congratulated the students on their results and applauded their ability to adapt and succeed in the highly competitive, international event.
“To see our students reach such great heights on the top international stage is remarkable, especially during COVID,” he said.
“Congratulations to our 2021 IMO team – they have all demonstrated great ability and creativity under challenging circumstances. They have once again proven that Australian mathematical problem solving has never been healthier. Well done especially to Hadyn Tang, who is Australia’s second most successful IMO contestant with two golds and two silvers in five years of competing, and Ruiying Wu, the first Australian recipient of the prestigious Mirzakhani Award.”
Nathan also acknowledged AMT’s Director of Training for IMO, Angelo Di Pasquale who mentored, trained, and prepared the team for this year’s competition.
“Thanks must go to Angelo and his team for preparing the team so well and keeping them engaged despite the changed circumstances forced on us by COVID. Not only has he done a great job preparing the team, but one of his problems was included on the first day of competition – a great honour and testament to Australia’s reputation for problem solving at this level.”
2021 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) team results
AMT’s Olympiad programs are supported by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through the Science Competitions: Mathematics and Informatics Olympiads grant opportunity. The Olympiad programs are also supported by the National Sponsor of the Australian Informatics and Mathematical Olympiads, Optiver.
About the International Mathematical Olympiad
The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is a mathematical Olympiad for pre-university students and is the oldest of the International Science Olympiads. The first IMO was held in Romania in 1959.
The content ranges from extremely difficult algebra and pre-calculus problems to problems on branches of mathematics not conventionally covered at school and often not at university level either, such as projective and complex geometry, functional equations, combinatorics, and well-grounded number theory, of which extensive knowledge of theorems is needed.
Nathan Ford, CEO
Australian Maths Trust
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