Mathematics competition successes at the highest level

QE boys enjoyed both individual and team success in national competitions for some of the country’s most accomplished young mathematicians.

Four boys took part in the UK Mathematics Trust’s Team Maths Challenge national final in the summer and came fifth out of 88 finalists. Their score of 209 points out of 238 was the second-highest ever achieved by QE. The competition is open to pupils in Year 8 and 9 (and these boys are now in Years 9 and 10 respectively).

Team captain Nico Puthu, and fellow pupils Benjamin Suen, Edward Hu and Drew Sellis had won their place in the national final at the Royal Horticultural Halls (Lindley Hall) in central London after achieving second place in their regional heat in March and being ranked as high-scoring runners-up.

The event consisted of five rounds, including the Poster Round, which is added for the national final but is a separate competition and does not count towards the main event. The four activity rounds were: the Group Circus, which involved working on practical mathematical problems; a Relay Race, which was a combination of speed across the room and speed at solving maths problems; a Crossnumber (similar to a crossword); and the Shuttle, which was a series of mini-relays against the clock. The Poster Round had a theme of colouring and included questions on The Four-Colour Problem, The Five-Colour Problem and the Petersen Graph.

""The UKMT competitions for individuals also saw strong QE representation: 11 QE boys from Years 7 and 8 (now Years 8 and 9 respectively) took part in the Junior Olympiad in the summer, with a further 114 qualifying for the Junior Kangaroo. These are the follow-on rounds from the Junior Challenge: only around 1,200 students qualify for the Olympiad from the 250,000 who sit the Challenge, while the Kangaroo (which was introduced at junior level for the first time this year) is by invitation only and is sat by several thousand strong candidates who missed out on qualifying for the Olympiad.

The Olympiad consisted of a two-hour paper of in-depth mathematical problems: Section A requires answers only, whereas full written solutions are required for Section B.

James Tan, of Year 7, achieved a certificate of distinction (awarded to the highest-scoring 25% of candidates) and a gold medal. Two of the Team Challenge competitors also performed extremely well in the Olympiad, with Edward Hu, of Year 8, gaining a certificate of distinction and a silver medal, while Drew Sellis, also of Year 8, won a bronze medal. Other boys who excelled were: Shai Kuganesan, of Year 8, who achieved a certificate of distinction and silver, and Sunay Challa, of Year 7, who won bronze. Medals are given to the top 210 scorers but, unlike certificates, are awarded only to those scoring at least five in Section B of the competition. There are 30 gold medals, 60 silver and 120 bronze.

Assistant Head of Mathematics Wendy Fung said: “Simply to reach the Olympiad is a considerable achievement, so any boys gaining certificates of distinction or winning medals have done tremendously well.”

The Junior Kangaroo was a one-hour multiple-choice paper, with 25 questions, sat in School, and is thus similar in form to the Junior Challenge question paper, but is more challenging.  Twenty-four QE boys achieved a merit certificate; the remaining boys were awarded participation certificates.  Tanishq Mehta, of Year 7, Dhru Patel, of Year 8, and Vincent Tang, of Year 8, were the joint-top scorers, with 118 points each.

Miss Fung congratulated all the QE participants from the Team Challenge, Olympiad and Kangaroo.