Canada’s high-school math wizards attend camp at York

York welcomed 15 of Canada’s top performing high-school students in mathematics for a winter training camp held Jan. 4-9. Organized this year by York and the Canadian Mathematical Society, the camp is designed to give students who performed well in mathematics competitions an opportunity to meet and learn from professors in the field. Students improve their math skills through lectures and team problem-solving activities. Throughout the week, students participated in sessions on algebra, geometry, combinatorics and much more.

match camp1Left: From left, high-school students Lin Fei and Charles Qi put their math minds to work.

Faculty members in York’s Department of Mathematics & Statistics were represented at the camp by Igor Poliakov along with colleagues Neal Madras, Hongmei Zhu and Alfred Pietrowski who were also involved in event organization. Instructors also came from the universities of Calgary, Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier and Dalhousie.

“The instructors are very good and present the material in an interesting way,” said Victoria Krakovna of Toronto.

Six of the students attending the camp will be chosen to represent Canada in the 46th International Mathematical Olympiad. This year’s Olympiad will be held in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, where these bright students will meet and compete against the world’s finest young mathematicians.

The week was “challenging and fun, but worth it! It has been good to meet all these other students,” said Lin Fei, also of Toronto.

Participants and their coaches stayed at Bethune College during the camp and, in their spare time, were able to explore York’s Keele campus and preview university life.