Over 200 high school students from 22 schools in Asia spent two days looking at the world through a mathematical lens last week, following a Maths Trail through the Baitang Arboretum to link mathematical concepts with nature, and then putting their skills to the test in a series of challenging competitions at Dulwich International High School Suzhou (DHSZ).
“It’s fantastic to see students who have a huge passion for maths and being able to experience this passion with other like-minded maths students brought together by this event. The competition aspect of the event helps push the young mathematicians to improve the skills in problem-solving, communication and teamwork,” says Karen Moffat, Director of the host school.
The competition has three major strands, the main competition, the buddy competition and the Maths Trail. The main competition consists of a group round, a relay round, the fiendishly difficult cross number round, and a problem-solving round. Each round is designed to use a different set of both mathematical and communication skills to ensure success.
In the buddy competitions, students are mixed across the schools and have to learn to work together on a different set of problems and skills. The tournament round is a fast and furious football-style competition leading to a grand finale between the top two teams.
Two world-class mathematicians were guests at the event. Brent Everitt from the University of York spoke to the students about his favourite number and its applications in architecture and group theory. Ron Lancaster provided five hours of professional development for the attending teachers, structured around the idea of conceptual teaching. Ron also created the Maths Trail for the group.
Ben Yang, co-founder of Kingdom Education, which generously sponsored the event, gave the keynote speech at the gala dinner to round off the event. DHSZ Head Boy, Allen, said, “The event has been awesome, the buddy maths rounds was great as you are able to work with and learn from other students and make friends.”
The High School Team Maths Competition, one of Asia’s top mathematics tournaments, gives young mathematicians a great opportunity not only to develop their collaborative learning and communication skills, but also to have fun in the bargain.