The 2023 European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) Australian team was announced today, with four female high school students heading to Slovenia to compete from 13-19 April 2023.
“We’re thrilled to reveal that three of the students who last year saw our Australian team place third overall at EGMO, will be competing again in what really is the premier international mathematics competition for young women,” said Ben Kirk, Director of Performance and Pathways for the Australian Maths Trust (AMT), which selected and mentored the 2023 Australian EGMO team through their mathematical Olympiad program.
The team is hoping to equal or better their performance in 2022 when they finished third overall, their best result to date.
This is the sixth year that Australia will be represented at EGMO. In similar style to the International Mathematical Olympiad, two papers are taken on consecutive days. Participating countries send teams consisting of four female mathematicians of school age.
“It’s exciting that this year our team will be travelling again, after remote participation in 2022, our four talented girls will this year travel with their team leader to Portoroz in Slovenia,” said Mr. Kirk.
The Australian EGMO team was announced in a virtual announcement today, Monday 6th March 2023. The four mathematically talented young women selected are twin sisters Iris Xu and Cloris Xu in Year 11 at Baulkham Hills High School, New South Wales; Eunsu Choi in Year 12 at Brisbane State High School, Queensland; and new to the team this year is Laura Nan, in Year 10 at Fintona Girls School in Victoria. Laura gave some insight as to why she enjoys maths so much.
“People, specifically my English teachers often say, oh, this isn’t like maths, there’s not one definite answer. What they don’t realise is, there are many ways to solve a problem, but as long as you do it correctly, you always get there in the end. And sometimes I do like the stability of knowing there’s a single answer, and I can prove it beyond all doubt with logic – we don’t get enough of that in life,” said Laura.
This year’s EGMO team will be led by Sally Tsang, a medical Doctor and strong mathematician herself, who has been involved with the high performance pathway for a number of years as a lecturer and mentor. Along with Sally, AMT will send two more academic staff and a Team Manager to Slovenia to ensure the team performs as strongly as possible.
The AMT’s 2023 EGMO initiative is supported by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science and Resources through the Inspiring Australia – Science Engagement Programme. It is also supported by the Trust’s National Sponsor of the Australian Informatics and Mathematical Olympiad Programs, Optiver.
The European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad Australian team for 2023 comprises:
Eunsu Choi – Brisbane State High School, QLD
Eunsu especially enjoys the creative problem-solving aspect of mathematics. She gains satisfaction from tackling unique and complex problems that require new ideas and thinking to solve. She also appreciates the elegance and intuitive nature of mathematical concepts and particularly likes simple solutions to difficult problems, that can be understood with little background knowledge.
Eunsu plans to study mathematics in university, with a goal of pursuing a PhD in her chosen field. Eunsu hopes to use her mathematical skills to solve real-world problems, particularly climate change. She is intrigued by the millennium problems and hopes to contribute to their solutions.
Laura Nan – Fintona Girls School, VIC
“People (specifically English teachers) often say “oh, this isn’t like maths, there’s not one definite answer.” What they don’t realise is, there are many ways to solve a problem, but as long as you do it correctly, you always get there in the end. And sometimes I do like the stability of knowing there’s a single answer, and I can prove it beyond all doubt with logic – we don’t get enough of that in life.”
“I haven’t really thought about what I want to achieve after school, really. At this point, I’m just seeing how far I can get.”
“I’m hoping I won’t encounter too many problems to solve in my adult life!”
Cloris Xu – Baulkham Hills High
Cloris enjoys maths because it allows her to constantly challenge herself and enhance her problem-solving skills. She can gain a better understanding of how different difficulties can be approached when attempting to solve complex problems that require deep thinking.
In her future schooling years, Cloris wishes to further her study not only in maths, but also in other areas in STEM, so that she can apply a wider range of skills to real-world challenges she intends to solve as an adult. Using these skills, Cloris hopes to be able to solve important technical and social concerns in the future, such as global warming.
Iris Xu – Baulkham Hills High
The thing Iris loves the most about maths is the process of challenging herself with difficult questions that are hard to solve but finally solving them after thinking about them really hard, which gives her a great sense of accomplishment. She also enjoys maths because she believes it is a very useful tool for solving many issues in our daily life.
Through her schooling, she is hoping to become a well-rounded problem solver, both in maths and in other different subjects in school and in life. She also hopes that the things she learns will help her be able to help build society into a better place; in the future, she wants to solve many real-world problems, such as the lack of necessary resources in some regions, with her skills and problem-solving abilities.