Easy as π!

JESSICA CHUANG

THE SOUTH AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL MATHEMATICS COMPETITION (SAIMC) held in Durban in August was attended by Yi-Xuan Wu, Tinya Chuang and Fiona Lee. Earlier in the year they competed in three elimination rounds against other young mathematicians from all over the Free State and Northern Cape to be selected for the team to participate in the SAIMC competition.

SAIMC is an international mathematics competition that takes place in a different country every year. Young mathematicians from all over the world compete against one another. The competition also allows for these students to interact and make friends from all over the globe.

SAIMC truly represented the South African heritage at the cultural-day march led by traditional female dancers and gumboot dancers. Each country dressed up in their traditional clothes and marched across the streets of Durban, proudly waving their flags. Representatives from different countries had the opportunity to mingle sand showcase their heritage.

The Olympiads were written on the campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Each student had to write the individual paper and participate in completing a team paper. The top three achievers of each country were announced at the closing ceremony. South Africa had eight teams which participated in the Team Paper, one per province with Free State and Northern Cape combined into one team.

After their Olympiads the students participated in ‘challenges’ which consisted of three different games. The first game was similar to a cross between chess and checkers. Each team had to try and get their pieces to the other side of the board first. The second game – called Hexanimoes – consisted of a 16 by 14 grid with 22 game pieces. The aim of Hexanimoes is to places pieces onto the board until one team was eliminated. The third game was similar to Connect Four except that it was the cubed version of the game – this meant that there were 64 dots instead of 16. The learners enjoyed the challenges tremendously and their competitive spirits soared.

‘If I could go back in time, I would want to relive the week I spent in Durban. It was an amazing experience and I really enjoyed every moment of it!’ said Fiona Lee.

Needless to say, the experience was fruitful, unique and memorable.

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