Indian-origin schoolgirl youngest on UK team for Europe Math Olympiad

PTI | London | Updated: 07-03-2021 04:34 IST | Created: 07-03-2021 04:34 IST
Indian-origin schoolgirl youngest on UK team for Europe Math Olympiad

A 13-year-old Indian-origin schoolgirl has become the youngest to be selected for the UK team which will compete at the prestigious European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad to be hosted by the eastern European country of Georgia next month.

Aanya Goyal, a student of Alleyn's School in Dulwich, south London, used the extended period of lockdown last year to throw herself further into her passion for mathematical problem-solving.

With the help of her maths coach and former Math Olympian father, Amit Goyal, she focussed on a series of exams organised by the UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) to select the British team for the EGMO.

“The Olympiad problems are all about being creative and digging deep. Sometimes a problem can take many days to solve but it is all about not giving up easily and to keep coming up with new ideas,” said Aanya.

Over 600,000 secondary school students across the UK appear for the UKMT challenges every year and only the top 1,000 are invited to the British Mathematical Olympiad in November each year.

Of these, the top 100 are invited to Round 2 of the British Mathematical Olympiad in January – a three-and-a-half-hour competition comprising four challenging problems. Aanya went on to achieve a Distinction and was ranked among the top four girls to be selected for the UK team for the EGMO, also becoming the youngest – a record held by a 15-year-old until now.

“Maths means problem-solving. Before I started school and in primary, I did a lot of puzzles, crosswords, sudoku variants and kakuro etc. In secondary, I did codebreaking, cypher challenges, chess, and linguistics,” said the schoolgirl, who is excited about not only making the cut for the team but also being selected alongside one of her role models, Yuhka Machino, recognised as the world's best female mathematician.

As someone exempt from normal maths lessons at school, Aanya’s entire focus is on specialised math problem-solving and she hopes to inspire others to overcome the view that maths is a tough subject.

“Many students do not give maths a real chance. The adults keep repeating that maths is tough and that is what people of my age have heard all their life, so a few of them adopt it as a reality,” the teenager reflects.

“In England, adults constantly joke about being bad at maths, creating low expectations so many students think it is ok to be bad at maths. The more you practise, not only does maths become easier, but it also becomes more exciting and rewarding. But if you approach maths without confidence and a real heart then it can become pointless and cold,” she says.

As someone who has had regular success at Maths Olympiads, including winning a gold medal at the UKMT Junior Maths Olympiad three years ago when she was still at primary school, her entire focus now is on winning a medal for the UK at the EGMO.

“I do maths for the joy I get out of it and not for any career goals. I will study maths at university, but my career choices include law and politics,” adds Aanya, who also happens to be on a shortlist of 50 from which the UK team for the International Linguistics Olympiad, to be held in Latvia in July, will be selected next month.

Meanwhile, the Londoner is preparing for the EGMO in Georgia, which has been transformed into a hybrid event due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions with individual countries deciding whether to travel or to participate remotely. The UK has chosen the remote option, with the British team likely to gather in one location for the competition.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Viral variants and vaccine nationalism pose two-pronged threat to Covid victory

... ...

Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Ladakh registers highest single-day spike with 245 new COVID-19 cases

Ladakh recorded 245 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike this year, pushing the virus case count in the Union Territory to 11,709, an official bulletin said on Saturday.The detection of the new cases 236 in Leh and nine in Karg...

Biden and Japan's Suga project unity against China's assertiveness

President Joe Biden on Friday sought to present a united front with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to counter an increasingly assertive China as the U.S. leader held his first face-to-face White House summit since taking office. The...

Funeral to praise Philip's 'courage' and support for queen

Prince Philip will be remembered as a man of courage, fortitude and faith on Saturday, at a funeral that salutes both his service in the Royal Navy and his support for Queen Elizabeth II over three quarters of a century.Philip, who died Apr...

Mumbai Marathon rescheduled, new date to be announced

The organisers of Mumbai Marathon on Saturday announced that the 17th edition of the event, which was to take place on May 30, has been rescheduled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.The new date will be announced in due course after consultati...

Give Feedback