This month, in Hong Kong, teams from over 100 countries were competing against each other.
Among top contenders:
Russian Federation, Republic of Korea, Japan,
United Kingdom, China, North Korea, Taiwan, U. S.
This was the 57th International Mathematical Olympiad — a prestigious problem-solving competition for high school students.
U.S. team won the first place
How did the U.S. team train for the competition?
And what was their strategy?
The U.S. team coach (in an interview for NY Times):
“There are a lot of very good teams out there.
How you perform on something is not just a function of what you know,
but how intensely you engage during the activity.”
Talking about the training process, the coach continues:
“This year we also included ten international students — students on IMO teams from other countries.
We paid for their airfare, hotel, food and teaching.”
The coach further elaborates:
“First, bringing in the international students gives the top US students peers.
They always tell you — if you’re the smartest guy in the room, you’re in the wrong room.
So we bring in these peers, who are actually at the same level as these top six.”
When asked who came up with that idea, the coach answered,
“My idea. I think of some pretty strange stuff.”
What a concept.
Congratulations U.S. team!
Well done, coach!
The optimists among us see a future where these very same strategies
will be used in other areas: health; environment
A future where the world’s brightest minds would work together
and find solutions to benefit us all.
Thanks for visiting.