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Israel’s team wins international maths competition for university students

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A total of 546 students, from 96 universities worldwide, took part in the competition this week

By ILANIT CHERNICK

In an impressive feat, Israel’s national team has taken first place at the International Mathematics Competition for University Students. 

A total of 546 students, from 96 universities worldwide, took part in the competition this week. The Israeli team came in first place for team rankings while several of the students made it into the top ten personal rankings. 

The Israeli team included six students with five being from Tel Aviv University; four from the School of Mathematical Sciences, one from Blavatnik School of Computer Science and the School of Mathematical Sciences and one student from the Department of Mathematics at Bar Ilan University. 

The team was led by coaches Dan Carmon and Lev Radzivilovsky who are from the School of Mathematical Sciences at Tel Aviv University.

Shvo Regavim, a TAU student who came second in the personal ranking, said the win for the team felt great. 

“The competition was hard, we were short on time, trying to answer all the questions, and I’m glad we achieved all the goals we set for ourselves,” Regavim said. “On a personal level, this victory is a major achievement, but I mostly enjoyed the challenge of solving high level mathematical exercises”

The competition, which took place online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, is aimed at undergraduates who are no older than 23. 

As part of the tasks given to students during the event, they had to solve maths problems from the fields of Algebra, Analysis (Real and Complex), Geometry and Combinatorics. 

The responses were then evaluated by team leaders and other professors and assistant professors using criteria provided by the jury. Since its start 27 years ago, students enrolled in 200 universities from over 50 countries have participated in the competition.

Carmon, the team’s coach explained that “The competition was hard and challenging, our students successfully competed against very skilled and strong students from around the world. Making the competition online forced us all to make the needed adjustments. 

“The Israeli team showed very high skills and I’m proud of the students and their impressive achievement,” he said.

Coming in second place was Saint Petersburg University, with Moscow University in third and Budapest University fourth.

Prof. Eilon Solan of TAU’s School of Mathematical Sciences said that he was very proud of these excellent students, who have “brought great honor to the country and to the university.”

Solan, who was also in charge of the team stressed that “the Israeli students were competing against the best young minds in the world. 

“[They] showed impressive mathematical knowledge, along with creativity and improvisation skills, which allowed them to solve very complex equations under restricting time limits and in a competitive environment,” he said, adding that he “is sure that those talented students will lead the Israeli market and academia to many achievements.”

Other teams that participated included Germany’s University of Bonn, which came in eighth place, while the University of Madrid in Spain came fourteenth place. 

The University of Maryland (US) made it to eighteenth place, the University of Amsterdam came in 33rd place and University of Warwick (UK) was in 48th place. 

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