Maths whizzes bring home medals for SA

Maths whizzes bring home medals for SA


Durban – Keren Curtis, 12, would like to be a neuroscientist or astrophysicist, while Imaan Ganey, 13, has her sights firmly set on becoming an architect.

And if being good at maths is needed for those careers, it’s quite likely they will reach their dreams: both girls were awarded bronze medals in The International Maths and Science Olympiad (IMSO) in the Under 13 category, on January 24.

The pair were part of the six South African pupils who entered the competition, four girls and two boys, with four being awarded bronze medals. Fifteen countries entered the competition with more than 150 young maths whizzes from across the globe competing for medals. Students from Vietnam swept the board with a 20-medal haul.

Because of Covid-19, this year the Olympiad was held online, with the event being broadcast live.

Keren and Imaan, who both attend Durban Girls' College (DGC), sat for the worldwide maths competition on their first day of high school. Both admitted it was difficult, but agreed that problem solving had always been a favourite past time.

Imaan, who likes to read and sketch buildings in her down time, said, “it was quite hard, it wasn’t problems we had done before”, while Keren, who enjoys playing soccer and the piano said, “it was difficult, but I would do it again.”

They both said they spent a lot of time in the December holidays going over past Olympiad papers to prepare for the competition.

Keren has been at DGC since Grade 3, while Imaan started at the school this year and was Dux of Glenwood Preparatory in 2020.

The IMSO is regarded as a prestigious competition and includes the world’s top 10 ranking Maths Olympiad countries, with Keren and Imaan competing against the best from countries such as China, Singapore, Vietnam and Korea.

DGC executive head, Marianne Bailey said both girls earning bronze medals was an “outstanding achievement”.

“Their passion and talent for problem-solving is inspiring and we look forward to continuing the maths journey with our girls,” said Bailey.

The Independent on Saturday

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