Last week, six young South African mathematicians took part in the 28th Pan-African Mathematical Olympiad (PAMO), hosted by Tunisia. Eleven countries participated in this year’s virtual event. Morocco took first place, with South Africa second, followed by Tunisia and Algeria in joint third place. The South African team received two gold, one silver, and two bronze medals.
South Africa’s Yi Lou, a Grade 12 learner from St. Peter’s College, took second place out of the 60 participants and received a gold medal. Tyrone Kasi, a Grade 12 learner from St. Stithians Boys’ College, also received a gold medal for his joint third place.
Alex Sinclair-Smith, a Grade 11 learner from Westerford High School, was the second-best out of the 27 female participants. She is in joint overall sixth place and received a silver medal.
The other South African team members were Shelby le Roux (17th, bronze medal), a Grade 11 learner from Rustenburg Girls’ High School; Minkyum Kim (25th, bronze medal), a Grade 10 learner from Reddam House Durbanville; and Daniella Kaye (33rd), a Grade 10 learner from Herschel Girls’ High School.
“We are incredibly proud of the South African team’s performance,” says Prof. Kerstin Jordaan, the executive director at the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF). The SAMF Olympiad programmes for high school learners such as South Africa’s participation in the PAMO and the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), as well as the South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) are sponsored by Old Mutual and the South African Institute for Chartered Accountants (SAICA).
“These results are exceptional, and they reaffirm our commitment to support the work of the South African Mathematics Foundation. Hearty congratulations to the learners, their teachers and team leaders on these great results,’ says Celiwe Ross, Human Capital Director at Old Mutual.
“One of the SAMF’s goals is to expose mathematically gifted learners to international competitions,” explains Jordaan. “A committee chooses the South African international teams from the top-performing learners in the previous year’s SAMO and other results of the SAMF Olympiad programmes. That means that the top learners who participate in this year’s SAMO, of which the third and final round is in July, stand a chance to be selected for next year’s PAMO.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic made participation in the host country impossible. But each country’s team (consisting of 3 boys and 3 girls) came together at a central location and participated virtually under close supervision from the host country’s leaders,” explains Jordaan. She concludes by congratulating the team for their excellent performance and applauds the team leaders, Dylan Nelson and Lauren Denny, for their hard work and dedication to get the team prepared for the competition.
The Young Future Leader Accounting and Actuarial bursary application are open now. Applications close on 31 July 2021 and can be made on https://www.oldmutual.co.za/careers/young-future-leaders.