WANGHAO ZHU, CBR STUDENT, ACHIEVES GOLD MEDAL AT THE XXXIV PORTUGUESE MATHEMATICS OLYMPICS • March 20th 2016 | Lisbon
Wanghao Zhu, a 9th
grade student at Colégio Bernardette Romeira, was awarded, on March 20th
, the 1st
place in the Category A at the XXXIV Portuguese Mathematics Olympics. This competition, which took place at Escola Secundária Luís de Freitas Branco, in Paço de Arcos, brought together the 30 best national students in each category.
Interview with the student Wanghao Zhu
How did your interest in mathematics come about?
My interest in mathematics started in the 2nd year, when I was studying in Ningbo (China). My teacher Wu noticed that I was good in this area and gave me a book of math problems to solve. Since then, my interest in mathematics has gradually grown.
Later, in 4th
grade, I was invited by Professor Mao to join an extracurricular course dedicated to the Mathematics Olympics, where I was quite successful, having won some competitions.Were you surprised that you were qualified for the final phase of the Portuguese Mathematical Olympiad (OPM) 2015/2016?
Yes, I was quite surprised because the 2nd
stage did not go that well, so I didn’t expect to be qualified for the finals. But when, on the morning of February 19th
, I received an email from the organization of the Portuguese Mathematical Olympics to congratulate me on being qualified for the national phase, I was very happy. It was one of the best news of my life!How did you prepare for the final phase of the OPM?
The math teachers, Ana Rodrigues and Carmo Coelho, helped me a lot, providing tests from previous years and clarifying some doubts. On the internet I discovered some books with various exercises. Unfortunately, I did not prepare as much as I would have liked, because I had a very tiring term with tests, papers and presentations.Tell us about your experience in Lisbon, in the final stage of this contest.
It was an unforgettable and very enriching experience. This trip allowed me to open new horizons. When I left Olhão for Lisbon, I felt a little insecure, but as soon as I arrived at Gare do Oriente and met with all the participants of the Portuguese Mathematics Olympics, I was even more insecure.
At Luís de Freitas Branco Secondary School, where the tests took place, I felt a little lost, I didn't know anyone. The first day did not go very well. I was disappointed with myself, but decided that on the 2nd
day it would be different. And so it happened. I managed to find the solution to all the problems and I was more optimistic about my performance. At the closing ceremony, despite my nervousness, I felt that everything I had done would allow me to obtain a medal. However, when they announced that I had won the gold medal in Category A, I couldn't control my emotions because I was so happy.What did you win with this prize?
In addition to the gold medal, I feel that in this three days, my passion for mathematics has deepened. I know that my future will be linked to mathematics. I learned that the important thing is that we do what we like and that it will lead us to success.
Another very attractive prize is the opportunity to participate in the Delphi internships, promoted by the Mathematics Department of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra, where I will prepare myself for other competitions, namely the selection phase for the International Olympics that will be held in July in Hong Kong.
What are the Portuguese Mathematics Olympics?
The Portuguese Mathematical Olympiad (OPM), organized annually by the Portuguese Mathematical Society, is a competition for Mathematics problems, addressed to students in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles of basic education and also to those who attend the secondary education, which aims to encourage and develop a taste for mathematics.
The problems proposed in this contest appeal above all to the quality of reasoning, creativity and imagination of students. Logical rigor, clarity of exposition and elegance of resolution are important factors in determining classifications. OPMs do not have the fundamental objective of testing the amount of accumulated knowledge.
OPMs take place in three phases:
- a first round, which takes place in all schools that express the intention to participate, and participation is open to all students;
- a second round, which functions as a regional final, which takes place in some schools in the country and for which some students are selected, according to the regulations of the OPM;
- a National Final, which takes place in a school invited to organize this stage of the Olympics; 30 students from each of the categories participate, selected according to the OPM regulations.