Malaysia won our first International Mathematical Olympiad Gold medal at the IMO 2011 in Amsterdam. Congratulations to How Si Yu, Form 4 student at SMK USJ12. He managed to rank #25 overall among 564 top math students from 101 countries.
His identical twin, How Si Wei who is also in Form 4 at SMK USJ12, won a Silver Medal. Tham Ying Hong, Form 5 at SMJK Katholik PJ, bagged a Bronze Medal. This is Ying Hong’s third IMO (he won a Silver Medal in IMO 2010 in Kazakhstan).
Two members of the team, Anzo Teh Zhao Yang from SMJK Chung Ling Butterworth and Justin Lim Kai Ze from SMK Tinggi Kluang, both in Form 3, won Honorable Mention award. HMs are given to participants which do not make the cutoff points for medals but able to solve a problem completely. Another member of the Malaysian team is Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin, an A-Level student at INTEC Shah Alam, and former student at SM Sains Teluk Intan.
The IMO is an annual global mathematical contest which is considered the most prestigious academic competition in the world. Started in 1959, the IMO has produced a number of top mathematicians including winners of the Fields Medals, the “Nobel equivalent” of mathematics. In the 50 years of its existence, IMO has created a tremendous impact in mathematical education around the world, specifically on the development of talented students. IMO is the oldest, largest and most prestigious of the Science Olympiads.
At the IMO, students sit for two tests on two consecutive days, where each test consists of three problems to be solved in 4.5 hours. Students write their solutions individually. The problems are original and created specifically for this competition by mathematicians around the world. The level of difficulty of the problems is so high that a geometry problem in the paper was only solved completely by 6 students.
The Malaysia IMO training program, organized by the Malaysian Mathematical Sciences Society (PERSAMA), is a year long program to identify, shortlist, and train potential students for the IMO (More details at https://suhaimiramly.wordpress.com/imo). This program is run under the patronage of the Ministry of Education.
Many thanks to all who contributed to this success — the parents, PERSAMA IMO Committee Chair Prof. Arsmah Ibrahim, committee members En. Ikhwan, Prof. Daud, Prof. Jamaludin, Pn. Masita, Pn. Jamilah, Dr. Shaharudin, trainer Dr. Ong Shien Jin, sponsors (ExxonMobil Malaysia & MoE), MoE officials (Pn. Roslina and En. Rosman in particular) and well-wishers. May the team shine brighter in the future.
The proud team leader with the medallists: (L-R) Si Wei, Si Yu, Ying Hong. Photo credit: Utusan.
Problem 2 of the IMO 2011 (The Windmill Problem):
Let S be a finite set of at least two points in the plane. Assume that no three points of S are collinear. A windmill is a process that starts with a line L going through a single point P in S. The line rotates clockwise about the pivot P until the first time that the line meets some other point belonging to S. This point, Q, takes over as the new pivot, and the line now rotates clockwise about Q, until it next meets a point of S. This process continues indefinitely.
Show that we can choose a point P in S and a line L going through P such that the resulting windmill uses each point of S as a pivot infinitely many times.
PS: I will be going on a (well-deserved 🙂 ) vacation for the next one month. My flight back to KL is on the 28th of August, few days before Raya. In the meantime, email replies and blog updates will be infrequent, because I’m planning to “unplug” for a while, except for checking emails every week or so. So all business matters would have to wait after Raya. In advance, I wish all my Muslim readers Selamat Menyambut Bulan Ramadhan & Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.