KAMPALA - A total of 18 students out of 61 who have been undergoing intensive training in preparation for the upcoming International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) in the United Kingdom have been selected for further trainings.
Overall, six students will be selected to represent the country both in the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad in Egypt and the international competitions in the United Kingdom later this year.
“We selected 160 students from both O’ and A’ Level basing on their excellent performance in the national mathematics contest 2017/18 and invited them for training. Only 61 turned up and after the exams, we have managed to select the best 18 for further trainings,” said Jasper Okello, the IMO co-ordinator.
During their week-long training at Light Academy in Lweza, contestants were examined in the areas of geometry, number theory, algebra and combinatorics following the IMO board regulations.
The IMO is the world championship mathematics competition for youth under 20 hosted by a different country each year.
Uganda was admitted into the competitions in 2011 with the first batch of students representing the country the following year in Argentina.
During this year’s camp, the selected students reviewed previous IMO papers to ensure that they were exposed to as many mathematical problems as possible and could practice how to get to the answers with the best possible solutions.
Quality Chemicals drug manufacturers, contributed sh10m towards facilitating the student’s travels later this year.
The vice-president of UMS, Asumpta Kasumba, said: “At this training camp ahead of the IMO, we provide an opportunity for the contestants to sharpen their mathematical skills individually while being in a group environment.
She added that activities such as the IMO help identify, encourage and promote mathematical talent which is the main ingredient for new advances in computational science, big data, statistics and modeling, which lead to growth and development.
“Recent research on the value of mathematical science shows that the direct effect of practitioners from these areas can contribute between 20 and 30 percent of total employment and is a critical foundation to the success of a country’s economy.”
She, however, noted that the association’s biggest challenge is to raise funds to buy air tickets for the participants to attend the competitions.