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Canadian math team to train at Laurier for international Olympiad

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Jun 17/08| For Immediate Release

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Dr. Edward Wang
Professor, Mathematics
(519) 884-0710 ext. 2305

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Kevin Crowley
Associate Director, News & Editorial Services
(519) 884-0710 ext. 3070

WATERLOO — Six of the brightest math minds from high schools across Canada will be at Laurier June 27 to July 9 to attend the Canadian Mathematical Society summer training camp for the 49th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).

The IMO — the world championship math competition for high school students — is being held this year in Madrid, Spain from July 10 to July 22. The six Canadian team members were selected from among more than 200,000 students in grades seven to 12 and will be pitting their skills against more than 450 of the world’s best students from over 80 countries.

Laurier math professor Dr. Edward Wang is the training camp’s local organizer. He will train the students with professors from the universities of Toronto and Waterloo, and two Canadian IMO gold-medalists who are currently PhD students at Princeton and MIT. The training will consist of three daily lectures on problem-solving techniques in algebra, geometry, number theory, functional equations, combinatorics and probability. The students will take mock tests that mirror the complexity of problems they will face during the Olympiad, where the competitors are given four and a half hours to solve three problems each day.

“These problems are incredibly challenging,” said Wang. “I have brought back questions from IMO tests in previous years to show my colleagues, and even they have great difficulty solving them.”

Wang has been actively involved in various national and international mathematics competitions for almost 20 years. He chaired the Canadian Math Olympiad (CMO) committee for three years and accompanied previous teams to IMO competitions in Taiwan, the United States and Greece.

In addition to preparing the Canadian team for this year’s competition, Laurier has invited six younger students to participate in the first week of training. These students, who come from high schools in Windsor, Thunder Bay, Detroit and Waterloo, will gain valuable experience and become potential candidates for next year’s team.

“To have the IMO summer training camp here shows that Laurier is interested and supportive of math competitions at the highest level and math education in general,” said Wang. “Students in the area will gain knowledge about this competition and other related ones as well. We hope we’ll be inviting the next generation of math wizards back to Laurier again.”

A send-off luncheon and media event for the students will be held June 27 at the Fields Institute in Toronto before the students and trainers come to Laurier’s Waterloo campus to participate in the camp.

The six “mathletes” on Canada’s national team are: Yan Li from Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, Ontario; Alexander Remorov from William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute in North York, Ontario; Jonathan Schneider from University of Toronto Schools in Toronto, Ontario; XiaoLin (Danny) Shi from Sir Winston Churchill High School in Calgary, Alberta; Chen Sun from A.B. Lucas Secondary School in London, Ontario; and Chengyue (Jarno) Sun from Western Canada High School in Calgary, Alberta.

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