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SU mathematics students perform at international competition
Author: Media & Communication, Faculty of Science
Published: 03/10/2016

SU mathematics students performed well at the recent International Mathematics Competition in Bulgaria, with honours student Dylan Nelson being placed in the second prize category.

The other three students, Elrich Groenewald, Petri-John Last and René Spoerer, all received Honourable Mentions.

Prof. Stephan Wagner, head of the mathematics division in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, says this is the first time that a SU student won a place in one of the top categories: “The competition has been in existence since 1994, but we only started competing in 2013. These competitions are a good way to get students in mathematics interested in challenging mathematical problems that go beyond the regular curriculum. At the same time they gain valuable international exposure.”

Dylan, who was placed 98th among 320 students overall, says he would recommend the competition to anyone who wants to challenge themselves: “The contest selects problems which can be solved using techniques and knowledge from typical undergraduate mathematics curricula, but with a bit of a twist. The problems generally require applying the relevant techniques in interesting ways.”

However, students should not feel that they must succeed in these sorts of contests in order to succeed as a mathematician, he adds.

Dylan is currently doing a BSc honours degree in mathematics and he plans to continue with an MSc in mathematics, also at SU.

The competition was organised by University College London and hosted by the American University in Bulgaria from 25 to 31 July 2016.

On the photo, from left to right: Dylan Nelson, René Spoerer, Elrich Groenewald, and Petri-John Last. Photo: Liam Baker.