Maths is a holiday for school boffins

03 April 2007 | Story by Helen Swingler

Figuring it out: Fifteen school pupils are on an intensive maths enrichment programme at UCT, sponsored by Oxford University Press.

Fifteen young mathematics boffins from schools around the country have eschewed various holiday attractions for an intensive programme of mathematical enrichment at UCT.

"All have excellent track records in mathematical competitions and Olympiads and are expected to take four nine-hour days of high-powered mathematical training in their stride," said the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics' Professor John Webb.

The programme of lectures, interactive tutorials and a series of problem-solving challenges runs from 2 to 5 April. It is presented by the department's staff and students.

South Africa is sending a team of four pupils to the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad in Abuja, Nigeria, from 8 to 15 April. All four are training at UCT. Last year South Africa took first and second individual places in this Olympiad in Senegal and the team was first overall.

"Apart from the Pan African event, we are looking to select the team for the International Mathematical Olympiad in Vietnam in July," Webb said.

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