Reagan Naidoo , Grade 12 pupil at Westville Boys' High School

Reagan Naidoo , Grade 10 pupil at Westville Boys’ High School

Reagan Naidoo of Grade 10 represented WBHS and South Africa at the International Mathematics Competition (IMC) in South Korea over the period 21-26 July 2014. Reagan is congratulated on his fine achievements in the SA Maths Olympiad, and he went on to perform with distinction in the IMC, finishing as South Africa’s 3rd-placed participant. He was the only participant from KZN. South Africa was the leading African country at the IMC.

Reagan’s report follows:

The objectives of the IMC (International Mathematics Competition) are: to promote mathematics education and education as a whole around the world, to allow students to further their mathematical knowledge and exchange cultural knowledge with students from around the world and to raise the standard of mathematics education in schools to an international standard.

The competition was established by Professor Leou Hsian, of Taiwan, in 1999. It has since grown into one of the largest international mathematics competitions in the world.

This year’s IMC took place in Daejeon County, South Korea from the 21st to the 26th of July. 950 Participants from 54 countries took part. An opening ceremony consisting of traditional Korean arts opened the competition on the morning of the 22nd. The morning of the 23rd would be when we wrote the individual test and in the afternoon, the group test. The rest of the week was spent touring Daejeon, South Korea’s 5th largest metropolitan area, and socialising with participants from around the world. On the evening of the 25th a cultural evening was held in the main theatre of the university of Theology and Mathematics. Each country was required to preform a cultural dance or skit that taught the other participants something about their country’s culture. The following morning was the awards ceremony. The winning team was China Team D. In the individual competition there were 2 participants who received 100%, Kang Seung Ho and Phan Minh Duc from South Korea and Vietnam Respectively. Overall China came 1st and South Africa 42nd.

The competition was an eye-opener for me. The experience with so many different cultures, languages, beliefs and traditions is something that will never be forgotten.