International Math Olympiad (IMO)

International Math Olympiad (IMO):

  International Math Olympiad (IMO) is a worldwide Math competition exam for high school students and is held annually every year in different countries. The first country where the First International Math Olympiad took place was at Romania in 1959 with 7 countries as participants. Since then, it was held annually every year except the academic year 1980. Now, the number of countries has been expanded up to 100.

These countries send a team of six members along with one team leader, one observer and one deputy leader. The question varies from most pre-calculus problems which are extremely difficult in the branch of Mathematics and not covered in the schools or even at University levels.

Few of such difficult chapters are well grounded number theory, projective and complex geometry, and extensive knowledge of theorems and so on.

The selection process differs for each country and IMO mostly recognizes the individual performances than the team performance. It conducts series of test which admits fewer students at each progressing stage. Team scoring is not officially recognized but however, team scores are unofficially recognized and compared between different countries.

Format of International Math Olympiad:

  The paper totally consists of 6 problems with each problem carrying 7 points. Thus, the total point to be scored is 42.

No calculators are allowed inside the exam centre. This exam takes place in two consecutive days. The students have to solve 3 problems in a day within 4 and ½ hours of duration. The question seems to be twisted, difficult to understand and indirect whose solutions are usually short and elementary.

The subjects such as complex geometry, combinators, algebra, number theories, construction oriented geometrical problems and complex numbers are covered in this examination. This does not require any advanced knowledge in mathematics but requires strong foundation in basic mathematical skills.

IMO 2016:

  The highlights of IMO 2016 are

  1. International Math Olympiad 2016 is going to take place in Hong Kong from 6th July to 16th July 2016.
  2. Totally 100 countries are participating IMO
  3. IMO 2016 is hosted by International Math Olympiad Hong Kong Committee Limited with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as the Host University.
  4. This is going to be 57th International Mathematical Olympiad.
  5. International Math Olympiad Hong Kong Committee (IMOHKC) was founded in 1986 under the auspices of Prof .K P Shum.
  6. Since then, it is responsible for selecting and training the talented students to participate in IMO.

How to participate in International Mathematics Olympiad:

  There are few stages in which the students have to pass through. They are:

Stage 1:

 Regional Mathematical Olympiad which is three hour written test in regional level with six or seven problems. The regional coordinators are responsible for conducting RMO at their respective regions. Those students who clear this written test are then sent to the next stage called “Indian National Mathematical Olympiad (INMO)”.

Some regions also conduct pre-RMO exam after which they allow selected students to take part in the RMO exam. The central RMO is planned to be held on first Sunday of December 6th, 2015 between 1.00 P.M to 4.00 P.M.

All Indian students who are born after August 1, 1996 and currently pursuing class IX, X and class XI are eligible to attend this test.

Stage 2:

 Students who have cleared RMO 2015 are only allowed to attend this Indian National Mathematical Olympiad 2015 test. Also, those students who have the merit certificate of INMO in 2014 are also eligible to appear for INMO.

This is a four hours written test and students who are in the top most 35 positions are awarded INMO awards.

Stage 3:

 The students who have won the INMO awards are then eligible to attend the next stage test called as International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp (IMOTC).

These students are invited to attend this training program at Homi Bhaba centre for Science education at Mumbai. Among the team, six best students are selected to go to the next stage.

Stage 4:

 The selected six students again go through a round of training and orientation for about ten days prior to the departure for IMO.

Stage 5:

 The stage 5 is International Mathematics Olympiad and this is the final stage in which the students have to prove themselves. The final team contains six participants including a team leader, deputy leader and an observer.

As mentioned above, this test takes place for two consecutive days. On each day the participant have to solve three problems within four and half hours. The questions are tricky, difficult and indirect which are really challenging to solve.

Students who clear this exam are individually awarded and also their teams are recognized.

IMO 2016 Logo:

  The Logo for IMO 2016 blends the figures of famous Peak Tower of Hong Kong with the Mathematical Symbol pi. The landscape below the peak tower is represented with a curve, which signifies the passing on of the spirits of the IMO. The design also makes uses of five colors of IMO such as Black, blue, yellow, red and green.

Procedures for New country enrolling in IMO:

 If a new country wishes to take part in IMO, then it has to follow the steps such as

  1. The Ministry of Education of the Country should send a formal application letter for an invitation to send an Observer for the next IMO. The letter of application should be addressed to the Secretary of IMO Advisory Board.
  2. The important papers and relevant documents must be attached with this letter. For example, how the country is going to train up its national mathematical team, copies of national mathematical Olympiad papers, etc.,
  3. This application is checked by the advisory board of IMO. If the letter is approved then the current host country of IMO will issue an invitation to that country to send an observer or observers to the IMO. That country is responsible for paying all costs involved such as travelling expenses, accommodation costs and other additional expenses to send the observers.
  4. At the IMO, the observer is able to gain how IMO is run, standards expected from the participating countries and how other countries train and select their teams.
  5. With the agreement of the host countries for the following two years, full approval is given to the requested country for the following year by IMO

  General instructions:

  1. IMO is governed by General regulations as well as by the annual regulations. But however, the annual regulations take precedence over the general regulations.
  2. The IMO takes place in the country or territory which is called as host country and this is covered under the annual regulations of IMO.
  3. Host organization is responsible for making all arrangements, paying for all cost such as participating country’s accommodation cost, travel expenses, etc.,
  4. The main objective of IMO are
  • To discover, encourage and challenge mathematically gifted young talents all over the world.
  • To bring a foster friendly international relationship among all the participants.
  • To create a platform to exchange the idea of various school practices, syllabus throughout the world.
  • To promote the area of mathematics

Rewards for the toppers:

  Maximum possible points that a participant should secure is 42 points.

  • Gold medals are awarded for the 39 students who secure greater than or equal to 26 points.
  • Silver medals for 100 students who secure greater than or equal to 19 points.
  • Bronze medals for 143 students who secure greater than or equal to 14 points.
  • Special prizes for awarded for the top most solutions with outstanding elegance.

Countries and its medals:

  • China won Gold medals 11 times in 1992, 1993, 1997, 2000,2001,2002, 2004, 2006, 2009,2010, 2011
  • Russia has won gold medals 2 times in 2002 and 2008
  • United States won gold medals 2 times in 1994 and 2011.
Sample questions for IMO:

Please check out the following link to refer the sample questions of IMO.