Filipino high school students win big in prestigious International Mathematical Olympiad

  • Filipino high school students bagged 2 gold medals at the International Mathematical Olympiad
  • IMO is considered the most rigorous and prestigious math competition in the world
  • The Philippine team placed 17th out of this year’s 111 competing countries

28 years since the country first joined the world’s most prestigious competition in mathematics for high school students, the Philippines finally got to bag, not just one but 2 gold medals, in the recently concluded International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).

Considered as the ‘Holy Grail’ for many math whiz around the world, IMO is an annual math competition and is the oldest of all the International Science Olympiads for high school students.

The 57th IMO was held in Hong Kong from July 6 to 16 where 111 countries participated with over 600 contestants in total.

A student from Philippine Science High School-Main, Kyle Patrick Dulay and Farrell Eldrian Wu of Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy brought the country’s 1st gold medals, as per an article published by Rappler.

2 silver medals were also bagged by Clyde Wesley Ang of Chiang Kai Shek College and Albert John Patupat of De La Salle University Integrated School.

The Philippine team, with a total score of 133, ranked 17th overall, up from last year’s 36th out of the 109 competing countries.

“This brought us closer to Southeast Asian powerhouses like Thailand (#12) and Vietnam (#11), and ranked us higher than usually strong countries like Bulgaria (#18), Germany (#19) and Romania (#20). This is the best finish of the country since it first participated in 1988,” the team said in a Facebook post.

According to the team leaders, questions presented in the competition were extremely difficult that even the easiest ones are several levels harder than typical math problems encountered by high school students.

“Questions at the IMO come from four subject areas: geometry, algebra (polynomials, inequalities and functional equations), number theory and combinatorics. Six problems are administered to all contestants over the span of two days, and the three problems in each day are to be tackled within four and a half hours,” they explained.

The Philippines first participated in the IMO back in 1988, led by the late Ateneo math professor Jose Marasigan, to whom the team dedicated their first ever triumph.