2016 Auckland Mathematical Olympiad

20 May 2016
Bernd with overall winners
Andrew Chen and Kevin Shen the first prize division winners with Professor Bernd Krauskopf

On Saturday 14 May, the Department of Mathematics hosted its annual Auckland Mathematical Olympiad for secondary school students across our region. Students came from as far afield as Orewa College and ACG Strathallan College to compete at the university. Pleasingly, three schools sent students to the Olympiad for the first time – Avondale College, Tamaki College, and Waitakere College. We received over 200 entries and on the day almost 185 students turned up (an increase on last year’s participation).

Questions were set by Professor Arkadii Slinko, Associate Professor Igor Klep and Dr Julie De Saedeleer, and students were placed in two age-based divisions. Each person had the best part of two hours wrestling with the solutions and was allowed to have his or her solutions checked twice by any of the 21 markers from the department, before having to move on.

In case students wrote vague solutions, Dr Shixiao Wang and Associate Professor Igor Klep were on hand to help provide expert interpretations of students’ strategies. Markers needed to be adept at getting to a candidate to check a solution, and then to race off to another part of the room to get to another candidate. At the end of the two hours, students exited the rooms to get refreshments and the markers then checked the totals.

However, there can only be one winner at each level. And so at the close, for the first time, one school (St Kentigern College), triumphed in both divisions. The Junior winner was once again Andrew Chen (Year 11), who repeated his 2015 win, while Year 13 student, Kevin Shen, won a tightly contested race in the Senior division to claim first prize.

Some interesting outcomes arose from the entries received in 2016. This year, over half of the schools present featured in the top fifteen prizes for each division. And although boys were awarded most of the top prizes in both divisions, there was a slight increase in girls winning prizes in the Senior division. 

Hinke with senior 6-15 place getters
Professor Hinke Osinga with the Seniors 6th-15th place getters
Junior section (y9-y11) working and awaiting marking
Dr Shixiao Wang, post-graduate student Ben Davies, and teacher May Meng can be seen checking student solutions in the Junior Room