Friday, 15 April 2011

Female? At school? Good at maths? You should be at the EGMO next year!

The UK team at the 2010 China Girls' Mathematical Olympiad
One year from now, the first European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad will take place at Murray Edwards College (formerly New Hall) of the University of Cambridge. In April 2012, the competition will be similar in style to the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).

The aim of the competition is to give more girls an exciting opportunity to show their mathematical ability on an international stage. Through the competition and the associated talent search and preparation, the organisers hope it will increase the participation of girls in mathematics competitions and in the UK IMO squad.

It is hoped that EGMO 2012 will be the first of many European Girls’ Olympiads. The organisers are currently seeking a host country for the 2013 competition. They intend that the competition will become an annual event, moving around Europe every year with host countries providing the competition funding. Preliminary enquiries indicate that about 20 nations will send teams to the inaugural competition.

This venture is inspired by the very successful China Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (CGMO) which has encouraged many more girls to develop and pursue their interest in mathematics. The Chinese Olympiad is now an international event. The UK sent a team to compete in the CGMO for the first time in August 2010.

The first EGMO will be held from 10 to 16 April 2012. The event is being jointly organised by Murray Edwards College and the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust, the educational charity that organises mathematics competitions in secondary schools in the UK.

Participating countries will send teams consisting of their strongest four female mathematicians of school age. The competitors will try to solve eight difficult problems over a two day period: four in each of two 4½-hour examinations.

There will be a nationwide talent search to find the girls to form the UK team at EGMO 2012. A Competition Challenge (the UK Mathematical Olympiad for Girls) will be held in June 2011 to select those students who will engage in training for the competition.

The exams will be held on 12 and 13 April 2012. Approximately half the contestants will be awarded medals, with gold, silver and bronze medals being awarded. Each contestant not awarded a medal but with a perfect score on at least one problem will receive an Honourable Mention.

Teams consist of up to four female contestants, accompanied by a Leader and Deputy Leader (who may be male or female).

If you are interested in the EGMO, take a look at the competition website, http://www.egmo2012.org.uk .

To give an idea of the standard, some of the challenges set at the CGMO can be found here. Be warned: they are tough! But the training and preparation is aimed at bringing competitors up to the right level.

To find out more about the competition or about how you can get involved, contact the EGMO from their website.

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