17 Oct 2007

"Olympic" medals for South African Maths Team

Ok, this article dates back to 2004! But still, that shows you that SA was NEVER that behind with Maths as earlier reports said, I think it was in the middle 90's! I mean, our Maths couldn't pick up THAT fast!!! If you read the report of the 90's, you will see which parts of SA they had taken schools and children to take part!! Obviously you will get a low score then. I mean, take inner-London schools and do the same with "certain" schools in London, the outcome will even be worse! or just as bad.... as that report earlier....well done to this lot....and the link is at the bottom for more following up!
Although the Olympic Games have not yet begun, South Africa is already bringing home Olympic medals from Greece.
In the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), which ended in Athens on July 18, the South African team of six high school students won three silver medals and one bronze medal.
The IMO forms part of the Hellenic Cultural Olympiad, being held in Greece in conjunction with the Olympic games.
A total of 486 high school students from 85 countries took part in the IMO, competing with each other over two days in solving a series of challenging mathematical problems.
South Africa's silver medals were won by:Dirk Basson (grade 12, HS Diamantveld, Kimberley),Jon Smit (grade 12, Grey High School, Bloemfontein) andTamara von Glehn (grade 12, St Stithian's Girls' College, Randburg).Tamara's twin sister Ingrid won a bronze medal.
Gerhard du Toit (grade 12, Paarl Boys' High School) was awarded an Honourable Mention for his perfect solution of one of the problems.
The five award winners were all veterans, of previous Olympiads. The sixth member of the team, Gayle Sher (Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Town) was the "new girl" on the team, and did not win a medal, but the points she scored were valuable in securing South Africa's position of 33rd among the 85 competing countries.
Professor Nic Heideman (UCT), the leader of the South African team, said: "This was the best medal tally of any South African team since we first took part in 1992." He also noted that South African's overall performance was better than that of any other African country, and outshone the performance of 80% of the countries of the European Union.
Girls are always under-represented at the IMO. South Africa was one of only two countries with three girls in its team of six. Tamara von Glehn, who turned in the best performance for South Africa, ranked fourth in the world among the female contestants.
The top ten countries in the world ranking were China, the United States, Russia, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Taiwan, Hungary, Japan, Iran and Romania.
At the General Meeting of the IMO, Professor John Webb (UCT) was re-elected Secretary of the IMO Advisory Board for the next four years.
The South African team was chosen after an 18-month programme, the Old Mutual Mathematical Talent Search, run by the South African Mathematical Society. The team's travel to Greece was sponsored by Old Mutual
Next year the IMO will take place in Mexico. A new Talent Search is already under way to identify the most promising young mathematicians to represent South Africa in 2005.
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