14 July 2009

Pinoy Math Wizards Harvest Medals

Photo courtesy of The Philippine Star
It was reported by Rainier Allan Ronda of The Philippine STAR on 12 July that thirteen Filipino high school math wizards held their own and harvested a crop of silver and bronze medals for the Philippines in the 10th Invitational World Youth Mathematics Inter-cities Competition (IWYMIC) held in Durban, South Africa.

Four members of the Philippines’ Team A posted a first runner-up finish in the team category competitions earning a trophy and a silver medal each for its four members namely Geraldine Baniqued, a senior at St. Paul College-Pasig; Arielle Elise Chua of St. Jude Catholic School-Manila; John Russell Virata of Gideon Academy; and Zheng Rong Wu of Zamboanga Chong Hua High School.

The Philippines Team B, composed of Adrian Raphael Co of the British School Manila; Matthew Chris Chan of St. Stephen’s High School; Ostin John Ong of the Bacolod Trinity Christian School; and Vance Eldric Go of St. Jude Catholic School-Manila, landed a second runner-up trophy and a bronze medal each for its four members.

Six of the 13 Filipino participants bagged a bronze medal each in the individual category competitions including Baniqued, Virata, Wu, Chan, Go and Elvis Jeremy Ayroso of Philippine Science High School-Manila for high marks in the individual category competition.

The Philippines’ reigning sudoku grand master, 14-year-old Sarah Jane Cua, a junior at the Pangasinan Universal Institute, who was put in the Canada International All-Girls Team, also won a bronze medal when her Canada team won a second runner-up trophy, earning for her a bronze medal.

Five of the Filipino whiz kids were awarded a certificate of merit for satisfactory scores in the individual category namely Paolo Manuel Iyulores of the Ateneo de Manila University High School, Chua, Co, Ong and Sarah Jane Cua of Pangasinan Universal Institute.

All 13 members of the Philippine delegation also won a bronze medal each when their teams, Philippines’ Team A, B, C, and Cua’s all-girls team, also posted second runner-up finish and a bronze medal each including the members of the Philippines’ Team C composed of Janssen Kotah of the Philippine Cultural College; Hanz Vladimir Cabanes of Zamboanga Chong Hua High School; Iyulores of Ateneo High School; and Ayroso of Philippine Science High School-Manila.

The 13 RP whiz kids, who were led by team leaders Dr. Eduardo de la Cruz, dean of the Arellano University College of Education and principal of the university’s elementary school; and Dr. Isidro Aguilar of the Department of Education, both of the Mathematics’ Trainers Guild-Philippines, were given their medals, trophies and certificates in formal awards ceremonies held at the auditorium of the Durban City Hall last Thursday night.

Dr. Simon Chua, president of the Mathematics’ Trainers’ Guild-Philippines, that prepared the victorious students for the 10th IWYMIC in Durban, expressed satisfaction over their respectable performance in the tournament.

"It was satisfactory. But we hope to do better in the other international math contests this year and in next year’s IWYMIC that will be held in Inchon, South Korea," Chua, who is the lone Filipino recipient of the prestigious Paul Erdos International Award for Mathematics Excellence, told The STAR.

"We can do better. We can win gold medals. Especially if our students are given the proper math training," Chua, a member of the 10th IWYMIC’s international panel of examiners and judges, said.

The 10th IWYMIC drew participants from 19 countries including Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Zambia, Zimbabwe, host country South Africa, and the Philippines.