MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Philippines brought home gold medals from the prestigious International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) held in Hong Kong from July 6 to 16.
Filipino math geniuses Farrell Eldrian Wu of Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy and Kyle Patrick Dulay of Philippine Science High School scored 30 and 29 points at the 57th IMO, respectively, beating around 600 other participants from more than 100 countries.
The country’s delegation ranked 17th overall with a total score of 133. This was notches up from being number 36 out of 104 countries in 2015.
Aside from the two gold medalists, Clyde Wesley Ang (Chiang Kai Shek College) and Albert John Patupat (De La Salle University Integrated School) bagged silver medals each. Ang got a score of 24 while Patupat earned 23 points.
Vince Jan Torres (Sta. Rosa Science and Technology High School) and Shaquille Wyan Que (Grace Christian College), on the other hand, won honorable mention awards for completing at least one problem.
“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 heads said in a Facebook post.
This year, the United States topped the IMO, followed by South Korea, China, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Ateneo de Manila University’s (ADMU) Richard Eden led the team together with other mathematics professors from ADMU and the University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman. Louie John Vallejo of UP served as the Deputy Team Leader.
Adrian Reginald Sy, who was a silver medalist in last year's competition and is now a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also coached the delegation composed of 6 high school students.
IMO participants solved complex math problems covering geometry, algebra (polynomials, inequalities and functional equations), number theory and combinatorics.
“The 6 problems appearing at the IMO are certainly very difficult that even the easiest of these is several times harder than the math problems that are usually encountered by high school students,” the team leaders said in their post.
“These 6 problems are administered to all contestants over the span of two days, and the 3 problems in each day are to be tackled within 4 and 1/2 hours,” they added.
The Philippines first participated in the IMO back in 1988, led by the late Ateneo math professor Jose Marasigan. – Patty Pasion / Rappler.com