Johnathan Leung has recently been selected as one of six team members to represent New Zealand at the International Maths Olympiad.
I am Johnathan Leung, a year 11 student at Kings College. I have just been selected for the International Maths Olympiad (IMO), a team of six students representing New Zealand. This is my first time participating in this competition. The team will go to Cluj-Napoca, Romania at the start of July.
Olympiad mathematics is a style of maths, popular in math contests, which is very different and more advanced than regular high school math. In Olympiads, there is a big emphasis on problem solving, and the topics covered are often outside regular high school maths. Therefore, instead of just memorising lots of formulas, you also need to apply maths in clever and sometimes unexpected ways, and you need a strong sense of intuition.
The IMO is one of the most prestigious high school maths competition, started in 1959. I only started Olympiad maths in year 9, but once discovered it exposed me to another kind of maths which I actually have a strong interest in.
Olympiad maths allows me to analyze all the logical connections involved. Hard problems can be intellectually stimulating for me, and if I solve it, it can give me a sense of satisfaction. In university, I aim to major in a conjoint degree consisting of maths and something related to computers, so I can continue to increase my knowledge of maths.
Although maths is very clearly my favourite subject, I also like computer programming, and the natural sciences. I have an interest in world events and politics, badminton and piano. In school, I am in the Model United Nations club and the robotics team.
The IMO is going to be an exciting experience for me, and I hope that it will become one of the highlights in my mathematical journey.