International Mathematical Olympiad opens in Amsterdam

July 18th, 2011 - 3:52 am ICT by IANS  

Amsterdam, July 18 (IANS) The 52nd edition of the International Mathematical Olympiad for high school students opened here Sunday, Xinhua reported.

More than 560 contestants from 101 countries and regions are participating in the two-day contest.

“The IMO is the largest and oldest Olympiad for the exact sciences and we will have the honour of receiving around 600 incredibly talented young mathematicians from across the globe,” said Netherlands’ Education, Culture and Science Minister Marja van Bijsterveld.

“These young people will spend the rest of their lives sharpening their mathematical skills and will leave their mark on the world in all sorts of areas,” said the minister.

The IMO is the World Championship Mathematics Competition for high school students. The first IMO was held in 1959, hosted by Romania.

With about half of the world’s countries and regions participating in recent years, it has become not only a mathematical competition for young people on the highest level, but also a great moment for international communication.

“I am here not only for the IMO competition but also to know more friends. We can establish contacts here and maybe later have more communication via emails,” said Lin Chen, a contestant from China.

In recent years, the questions of the IMO have become more and more difficult, according to professor Robbert Dijkgraaf, president of the Dutch Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, who is also the chairman of IMO 2011.

“I think the level is going up and up, which is good, because that is a kind of reflection of the achievements of science,” said Dijkgraaf. “You see young people already accessing those levels when in the old days you should had a long career before you could have achieved those standards.”

The results are expected to be announced July 23.

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