No fewer than 7 500 students from across the Western Cape converged on upper campus on 16 April to take part in UCT's Mathematics Competition. They came from as nearby as Rondebosch and as far afield as Bredasdorp and George, all with the single purpose of solving some of the toughest mathematics they will encounter in their high school careers.
Students from grades 8 through 12 are invited to participate, and the top performers are invited to a series of follow-up competitions, culminating in the UCT Mathematics Olympiad. Last night, all 18 schools involved in UCT's 100UP programme were represented.
Emeritus Professor John Webb, director of the UCT Mathematics Competition, says: "The UCT Mathematics Competition gives bright students an opportunity to show their high mathematical skills and to be challenged. It shows that maths can be fun and it encourages students to look beyond the school curriculum to allow their true mathematical talent to shine through."
Stepping to it: After registering, some of the mental gymnasts took a few moments to clear their minds on the Jameson steps.
Then it was down to business; students are given a pre-test briefing by their facilitators in the Leslie Social Sciences building.
The boffins are met with a series of brain-teasing multiple-choice questions.
Through the looking glasses: Two moderators – from a cohort of 250 mathematics teachers who assisted with running the event – ponder a brain-teaser of their own.
Victory will be sweet: These young mathematicians enlisted the services of some candy to spice up the pre-test warmup.
The Leslie Social Sciences building's foyer was swarming with high school learners, all eager to finish their registration.
With the help of student volunteers behind the desk, this young man would soon be joining hundreds of his colleagues tackling the competition in the Mathematics Building.
These Strandfontein Secondary School learners squeeze in some eleventh hour preparation.
This Norman Henshilwood learner was in high spirits as kick-off time loomed.
A sight for sore eyes.
Westerford High School matrics enjoy the build up to their last UCT Mathematics Competition.
If you listen closely, you can almost hear the cogs whirring.
The low hum of cogs could also almost be heard in Jameson Hall.
Photos by Je'nine May.
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