New Crop of Maths Boffins in Training
The South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF), in partnership with the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science at UKZN, has been training bright high school students to achieve success in the South African Mathematics Olympiads (SAMO) since 2011.
Hundreds of learners have benefited from the programme, with past students having been placed in the top 10 in the country, following their performance in the final round of SAMO.
In 2015, schoolboy Aaron Naidu from the programme came first in the junior competition ahead of more than 30 000 pupils from across the country. Two others, Arthur Qampi and Glenda Watt, were in the team of six that represented South Africa in the Pan African Mathematical Olympiad held in Nigeria in July.
This year invitations were sent to 50 schools to send their top learners ranging from Grade 7 to Grade 12, to write a selection test for placement in the programme. The end result was that 135 students competed for 70 places, 35 in the junior section and 35 in the senior category.
Professor Poobhalan Pillay delivered the main address, titled: “Power of Logic and Mathematics”, while Professor Dharms Baboolal, Dr Paran Pillay and Mr Shan Pillay, all staff members of the Maths Department, assisted by Mr Shalin Singh, a masters student in the School, marked the papers.
The College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science graciously sponsored the mid-morning snacks.
The participants, who the School hopes will be potential graduate students at UKZN, enjoyed their first exposure to the University. Those selected will continue to meet on Saturday mornings to hone their maths skills in preparation for SAMO 2016.