Department of Mathematics Organizes
Jamaican Mathematical Olympiad
Each year, many countries around the world participate in an International Mathematical Olympiad. This is a mathematics problem-solving competition in which high school students tackle significant problems over a two-day period. Many countries also participate in one of several Regional Olympiads held each year. For example, during the last 11 years many of our neighbors have competed in the Central American and Caribbean Regional Olympiad. Each year, teams of high school students competed for individual honors and participated in cultural events.
This year, 16 countries are invited to the Central American and Caribbean Regional Mathematical Olympiad. This will take place in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, from May 26-June 1, 2010. And this year, for the first time, Jamaica has been invited. The Department of Mathematics at the UWI, Mona Campus, has accepted this challenge and will sponsor a Jamaican Mathematical Olympiad Team to participate in this event. During the 2009/2010 school year, we will organize activities aimed at selecting national champions at each grade level and choosing a national team to participate in this exciting event.
The Jamaican Olympiad activities will begin in earnest on February 7, 2010, with a qualifying round open to all high school students in Jamaica. We will circulate a question paper through traditional media and electronically, using email and the Internet. Based on the results of this test we will select the top 150 students from each grade level to continue. These students will participate in a first-found exam on March 6, 2010. From this group, we will select the top 40 from each grade to continue. After preparing at a workshop at the UWI, Mona Campus, they will compete in the semifinal round. This will be called the UWI Invitational Mathematics Competition and will be used to select 10 finalists from each grade. The finalists will receive additional training and experience at the UWI, Mona Campus, and then compete in the Jamaican Mathematical Olympiad. The best performer at each grade level will be named a national champion and the three best performers (who meet certain age requirements) will be named to the National Mathematical Olympiad Team for 2009/2010. This team will compete in the CENTRO 2010 Mathematical Olympiad in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, from May 26--June 1, 2010.
The Mathematical Olympiad will create excitement in the schools and serve as a prominent and important part of our future thrust. However, once the Olympiad is established we will also promote related events that we also expect to have a major impact on mathematics learning outcomes. These will be designed to, among other things, encourage teachers to use problem solving as one of their normal teaching strategies.
The intended outcomes of these activities fall into two categories. First, starting immediately, we will identify mathematically talented students, encourage them in their studies, and provide extra resources and special training for them. Second, in the longer term we will encourage all students, even those in lower achieving cohorts, to take up a more interesting and challenging set of experiences. It is expected that teachers and students across the spectrum will engage in better and more satisfying mathematical activities in their classrooms.
Important Dates for the Jamaica Mathematical Olympiad
February 7, 2010: Qualifying round. This will be open to all high school students
March 6, 2010: First Round. This will be open to students who advance from
the qualifying round.
March 27, 2010: UWI Invitational (Semifinal round)
April 17, 2010: Jamaican Mathematical Olympiad
May 26--June 1, 2010: CENTRO 2010 Regional Olympiad
Countries Invited to the CENTRO 2010 Regional Mathematical Olympiad
Trinidad and Tobago
US Virgin Islands