Balkan Mathematical Olympiad
James Aaronson (Year 12) obtained the highest score (34/40) in this year’s Balkan Mathematical Olympiad and is the first UK student to win a gold medal in the history of the prestigious event.
This annual competition involves the mathematically most powerful Balkan countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Turkey) and guest nations including France, Italy and the UK. James beat the best students from a total of 19 other countries. The full results can be viewed on the Olympiad’s site.
Competitors have to solve four very difficult mathematical problems in 4½ hours. Test your own skill! This is one of the questions James solved:
Let ABCDEF be a convex hexagon of area 1 whose opposite sides are parallel. The lines AB, CD and EF meet in pairs to determine the vertices of a triangle. Similarly, the lines BC, DE and FA meet in pairs to determine the vertices of another triangle. Show that the area of at least one of these two triangles is at least 3/2.
James, still just 16, hopes to read Mathematics at university. He has been selected for the UK squad of eight for this year’s International Mathematical Olympiad and is waiting to hear whether he will be picked for the final UK team of six, representing the best school mathematicians in the country.