July 27, 2012 — Canada's top high school students at U of T for Math Camp
Twenty-two grade nine and 10 top math students from across Canada will be at the University of Toronto from July 28 to August 5 for the 2012 Canada Mathematics Camp. The camp is hosted by U of T's Department of Mathematics, in partnership with the Canadian Mathematical Society.
Chosen for their results in the 2011 Sun Life Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge and recommendations, the students will take part in academic activities on the St. George campus for six days, learning advanced problem-solving techniques. On the seventh day they will compete in a Mock Olympiad, where teams will solve as many challenging problems as possible in a few hours.
The goal of the camp is for students to find a more meaningful connection with mathematics while preparing them for higher-level competitions such as the Canadian Mathematics Olympiad and the International Mathematical Olymipad.
To Richard Cerezo, the camp coordinator from the math department, a mathematics camp is a great advantage for young students to learn how to figure out the world around them. "The advantage to studying any rigorous discipline is that fundamental advances can be useful, interesting and easily transferred," he says. "The further one studies mathematics, the greater the ability to bring together sophisticated ideas. The problems we will face in the 21st century are increasingly more abstract and quantitative than in the past. We will require the integration of ideas from many different disciplines and mathematics is the universal language that creates the possibility for transfer of insight between seemingly unrelated fields."
Five of the six high school students on Canada’s Math Olympiad team who reached fifth place for the country in the recent International Mathematics Olympiad are alumni of the camp, and two other alumni are returning as volunteer coordinators.
"The group of students selected for this year's camp are talented, not only in mathematics, but in music, sports, student government, and other areas of science," Richard Cerezo. "And we hope the campers establish camaraderie and meaningful friendships while spending their week at the University of Toronto."
Instructors include U of T professors Dror Bar-Natan, Joel Kamnitzer and Jeffrey Rosenthal, Upper Canada College teacher Byung Chun, Capital One Business Analyst Sarah Sun, MD candidate at Western Ontario University Yifan Li, PhD candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology David Rhee and teaching veteran Rad de Peiza. Pamela Brittain and James Colliander from the math department are also helping coordinate the camp.