Maths star goes international

2017-06-13 06:02
Grade 11 learner from Rondebosch Boys’ High School, Tim Schlesinger, will represent South Africa in an international maths competition.

Grade 11 learner from Rondebosch Boys’ High School, Tim Schlesinger, will represent South Africa in an international maths competition.

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A Grade 11 learner from Rondebosch Boys’ High School (RBHS), Tim Schlesinger, is ready to fly the South African flag at an international maths competition in Brazil next month.

He is one of the top eight learners in the province and was selected by the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) to represent the country at the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) and Pan African Mathematics Olympiad competitions overseas.

The learners were selected through a selection programme which saw them participating on an Olympiad camp in December at the University of Stellenbosch. During this camp the learners participated in a series of mathematical lectures and tests requiring insight, ingenuity and logical rigorous proofs.

Schlesinger says he is happy for the opportunity. “I’m grateful to SAMF for organizing our access to international competitions such as the IMO and I’m excited to go there and compete and hopefully do well for South Africa. I am very grateful to God for my natural ability, but it has also taken a lot of time and effort from me and input from various teachers and maths authorities. I pick up theory wherever I can and it then becomes easier to compete in most other competitions and tests,” Schlesinger.

“I’ve never been to South America, so I think I will find it interesting and enjoyable. It will also be good to meet people from different cultures, but with a similar interest.”

He says his love for maths started when he was young and it was one of the few subjects that made sense to him. He says he does not just learn it to earn higher scores, but he tries to work past the level of what is needed.

He also gave words of advice to other learners who would like to do better in maths, saying they should focus on enjoying maths.

“From there, everything else follows easily. Many think that you are either born able to do maths or not, but you really can learn both theory and problem solving. It has been encouraging to see how much time and effort others are willing to invest in young mathematicians.”

Executive director of the foundation, Professor Johann Engelbrecht, says: “This is a talented group of learners, who were selected after really hard work and commitment. We are excited about the challenge ahead and believe that the learners will be up for it.”

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