Two Cork students win medals at European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad

20 Apr 2016

Two students from Cork have brought home a silver and a bronze medal from the fifth European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO), held in Busteni, Romania.

They were part of a contingent of four Irish girls at the EGMO, where more than 140 students from 39 countries – including eight invited from outside Europe – competed in a variety of maths challenges.

The four students who flew over to Romania for the competition, which spanned nearly a week from 10 April to 16 April, were: Antonia Huang (15) from Mount Anville Secondary School in Dublin; Anna Mustata (16) from Bishopstown Community School in Cork; Ioana Grigoras (18) from Mount Mercy College, Cork; and Katie O’Connor (18) from The High School in Dublin.

Continued success for Mustata

Prior to taking part in this year’s European competition, the girls were training hard, having been a part of the Irish International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) squad. This squad receives training in special camps held annually in Limerick and Cork, as well as remotely in the form of mail-in problem sets by mathematicians from throughout Ireland, under the aegis of the Irish Mathematics Trust.

Both Mustata and Grigoras also represented Ireland at last year’s IMO in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where Mustata earned an honourable mention, having also picked up a silver medal at last year’s EGMO in Minsk, Belarus.

It is now hoped that, following the four girls’ performance at this year’s EGMO, they will enjoy similar success at this year’s Irish Mathematical Olympiad on 23 April. Then the Irish team might achieve gender parity for the first time in the 28 years it has participated in the IMO.

At last year’s IMO, gender parity was achieved by just three out of the 110 countries participating.

Girl at chalkboard image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic