Trio’s terrific performance puts them among the mathematical élite – while one boy achieves perfection

Trio’s terrific performance puts them among the mathematical élite – while one boy achieves perfection

This year’s leading national Mathematics competition for Years 9–11 features a QE boy in each 50-strong group of the top prize-winners.

Across the whole country, only 50 young mathematicians from each of the three year groups competing in the 2019 Intermediate Olympiad won the top prizes.

Even to reach the Olympiad is a significant achievement – it is open only to the top 500 performers in each year group in the UK Mathematics Trust’s Intermediate Challenge – so it took very strong performances by Shankar Vallinayagam, of Year 9, Dan Suciu, of Year 10, and James Tan, of Year 11, to win a place among the country’s very best.

In fact, James’ score of 53 out of 60 smashed through the threshold for winning one of the sought-after book prizes by a full ten points. He said later that he had found the geometry question particularly interesting, while Shankar added: “I like abstract Maths and that’s what the Olympiad is.”

And in a related Mathematics competition, the European Kangaroo, Jude Hill, of Year 9, achieved a perfect score of 135 out of 135. This is a rare feat, achieved in previous years by only two or three internationally. (The total number of perfect scores this year has yet to be confirmed).

Assistant Head of Mathematics Wendy Fung said: “My congratulations go to these four talented young mathematicians on performing so well under pressure.”

In total, 30 QE boys took part in the Olympiad – an increase on last year’s figure of 27 – and almost all of them won book prizes, medals, distinction certificates or merit certificates. Year 9’s Aran Ismail, Ansh Jassra, Arnie Sahi and Mukund Soni were medal-winners. Abhinav Santhiramohan, of Year 10, was awarded a distinction certificate. And 20 boys won merit certificates.

A further 139 QE boys from Years 9-11 took part in the Intermediate Challenge’s other follow-on round, the European Kangaroo, with 47 of them awarded merit certificates. (This competition is organised by Kangourou sans Frontières, an independent association that was inspired by the Australian Mathematics Trust, hence the name.)

In addition to Jude’s perfect score, the top scorers in the other year groups were Year 11 pupil Rakul Maheswaran, with 112 points, together with Amudhu Anandarajah and Alexandre Lee, of Year 10, who both scored 106. Jude said afterwards that he enjoyed the opportunity the Kangaroo offered to “apply your knowledge in new contexts”.

Here is one of the ‘easier’ questions from this year’s Year 9 Intermediate Olympiad papers. The triangle ABC is isosceles with AB = BC. The point D is a point on BC, between B and C, so that AC = AD = BD. What is the size of angle ABC? (Scroll down for answer).










Answer: the angle ABC is 36 degrees.