Enriched Mathematics for High School Students

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At this site we seek to list and briefly describe the various mathematics enrichment that is available for High School Students in WA. We also describe the various mathematics competitions that exist, and how a student may position themselves so they may be invited to the invitation-only events that are sponsored by the Australian Mathematics Trust.

It is now a regular event in November of each year for the Australian Mathematics Trust to present the medals and certificates for the Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) in each capital city. At the 2010 ceremony, held in Perth at UWA, Professor Cheryl Praeger, Chair of WA Mathematical Olympiad Committee, presented the following inspiring slide show, recommended for anyone who was in any doubt of the importance of mathematics.

Note. We do not charge copyright for any materials on this site, when used for educational purposes. All we ask is that you acknowledge their source: WAJO (Western Australian Junior mathematics Olympiad).

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Slideshow of historical figures associated with mathematics, that you didn't know were mathematicians! ... along with some inspiring quotes. Also, describes the top Nobel-like awards in mathematics. Finally, our (WA) 2010 School of Excellence invitees are featured.

Updated 22 Nov 2010 03:25
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Quick Links

Heading links (bold and followed by ...) take you lower in the page where the sub-entries are described more fully.

Mathematics Enrichment ...

  • At UWA
  • Elsewhere
    • Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians (MCYA)
      ... generally run through schools with materials provided by the Australian Mathematics Trust.
      The enrichment material has six levels, named for famous mathematicians: Newton, Dirichlet, Euler, Gauss, Noether, Pólya.
      Typically, schools start with Euler in Year 8, and continue with Gauss in Year 9 and with Noether in Year 10, though the start of the programme, Newton, is designed for Years 5 and 6.
      If your school doesn't run the programme, try the WA Mathematics Problem Solving Program run by Dr Norm Hoffman and Ms Noemi Reynolds, currently at Perth Modern School (see next entry), which starts at the Newton stage.
      Norm likes to select students on the basis of results of the Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC).
    • Western Australian Mathematics Problem Solving Program
      ... for Year 6 to Year 10 students, running from February to November.
      Deadline for enrolment: Late September of the previous year
    • Maths Enrichment (at Curtin University)
      ... for Year 5 to Year 11 students, held in Terms 2 (May to June) and 3 (July to September) of the school year. The Year 10 and 11 parts of the programme are based on parts of Gauss and Noether levels of MCYA.
      Deadline for enrolment: Typically, late April (check their site).

Mathematics Competitions ...

  • At UWA
    • WA Junior Mathematics Olympiad (WAJO)
      • Held on or near the last Saturday in October each year for Year 8 and Year 9 Students.
      • The best-performing students are invited to participate in the Academy for Young Mathematicians.
      • Results and Solutions for the WAJO held on 2 November, 2012 are now available.
      Good performers in this event have typically been exposed to the Gauss level of MCYA.
  • Elsewhere
    • Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC)
      ... there is a Middle Primary Paper (Years 3 and 4), Upper Primary Paper (Years 5 and 6), a Junior Paper (Years 7 and 8), an Intermediate Paper (Years 9 and 10) and a Senior Paper (Years 11 and 12); held each year around late July or early August (check AMT Dates); run through schools.
    • Australian Intermediate Mathematics Olympiad (AIMO)
      ... for sufficiently advanced students up to Year 10, held in early September, run through schools (check AMT Dates).
      Good performers at the AMC get a free invitation to sit the AIMO.
      Typically, schools invite students who have participated in the MCYA programme at the school.
      Good performers have typically reached the Noether level of MCYA.
      In WA, it is the principal selection tool for invitations to the Tournament of the Towns.
  • Invitation only
    • Tournament of the Towns
      ... typically students are invited on the basis of their result in the AIMO.
      In WA, it is used as part of a training strategy for the AMO.
    • Senior Mathematics Contest (SMC)
      ... generally, students have been exposed to Tournament of the Towns, and are invited on the basis of their results there. Typically, good Year 11 students are invited.
    • Australian Mathematics Olympiad (AMO)
      ... generally, students have been exposed to Tournament of the Towns, and are invited on the basis of their results there, though students who have been invited to the School of Excellence are automatically selected.
    • Asian Pacific Mathematics Olympiad (APMO)
      ... invitees have done an AMO and are attending the School of Excellence.
    • International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO)
      ... invitees have done an AMO and are attending the School of Excellence as a Senior.

Getting to the International Mathematical Olympiad

In the middle of each year the International Mathematical Olympiad is held. In 2014, it was held in Cape Town, in South Africa. Each participating country fields a team of six school-age students. The Australian Mathematics Trust run a School of Excellence in April (in Sydney) and December (in Melbourne) of each year, in order to prepare students for the event. Each School is an intensive ten-day camp, that interleave lectures, mathematical games, and, of course, practice exams. Of course, getting to such a camp is by invitation only.

The greatest number of students to be invited to a single School of Excellence, at least, in recent times, was in 2010, when four WA students were invited to the School of Excellence, two as Juniors and two as Seniors. How did they get there, and what might have been their expectations?

  • To get into the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) team, one has to have made it to the top six invited to the School of Excellence in a given year.
  • The typical route to the IMO requires a year at the School of Excellence as Junior followed by at least a year as a Senior.
  • For an invitation to the School of Excellence as Junior in December, one typically must be Year 9 or younger and achieve a High Distinction (generally 25 or more) in the Australian Intermediate Mathematics Olympiad (AIMO). On the other hand, a Year 10 typically needs to achieve a Distinction (about 20) in the Senior Mathematics Contest (SMC).
  • To continue through to the April School of Excellence, a Junior typically needs at least a Bronze in the Australian Mathematics Olympiad (AMO).
  • To advance to the Senior School of Excellence in December, a Junior typically needs to get four questions (typically a Prize) out at the Senior Mathematics Contest (SMC).
  • In 2011, Australia was represented at the IMO by a WA student, for the first time since 2001, namely by Angel Yu, who was a Year 12 student at Perth Modern School. Compare the above “typical path to the IMO” with that of the list of Angel Yu's achievements, leading to his being awarded the Phill Schultz Prize in 2011:
    2011AMO(Gold Certificate)... 1st in Australia!
    2010-2011TT(Diploma - Senior Division)
    2011IMO(Bronze Medal)... 1st WA student since 2001 to be in Australian team
    Achievements up to 2010 (which won Angel the Phill Schultz Prize in 2010):
    2009,2010AMO(Silver Certificate)... 1st in WA
    2009-2010TT(Diploma - Senior Division)
    2010AMC(Medal - Senior Division)... 1st in WA
    2010SMC(Prize)... 1st in WA
    2009SMC(Distinction)... 3rd in WA
    2008,2009AIMO(High Distinction)... 1st in WA
    IMO = International Mathematics Olympiad
    AMO = Australian Mathematics Olympiad
    AMC = Australian Mathematics Competition
    TT = Tournament of the Towns
    SMC = Senior Mathematics Contest
    AIMO = Australian Intermediate Mathematics Olympiad

    Angel was invited and attended the School of Excellence as a Junior in December 2008 and April 2008 on the strength of his 2008 AIMO result, and was invited back as a Senior in December 2010 and April 2011.

To improve the chances of WA students achieving these goals, talented students usually identified from results in the Australian Intermediate Mathematics Olympiad (AIMO) or the WA Junior Mathematics Olympiad (WAJO) are invited for training sessions for the Tournament of the Towns. From the above, one can see that to make it all the way, a talented student must be identified as early as possible. To maximise their chances of being identified, it is recommended that mathematically talented students first prepare themselves via involvement in the Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians (MCYA).

International Olympiad Links



Last updated 19 Jan 2015 07:25pm
Location:  https://enrichedmaths.maths.uwa.edu.au/