Taiwan places top 10 in international math, physics olympiads

Taiwan competitors placed in the top 10 in the international math and physics Olympiads, bringing home a total of 11 medals, the Ministry of Education announced July 23.

The national team bagged one gold, four silvers, and one bronze at the 58th International Mathematical Olympiad, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from July 12-23. Meanwhile, Taiwan competitors claimed three golds and two silvers in the 48th International Physics Olympiad, held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, from July 16-24.

Taiwan’s top performer at the IMO was Cheng Tien-Chun, who earned the nation’s only gold medal and placed 30th worldwide in the Olympiad’s individual rankings, the MOE said. This is the third time he has competed in the international event, having won a silver medal in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Cheng said he studied hard in the run-up to the contest in South America, hoping to perform well and not disappoint those who supported him. He added that he has been interested in math since elementary school, and hopes to one day build an artificial intelligence-enabled robot.

More than 600 students from 111 countries took part in this year’s IMO. Taiwan has participated in the event since 1992, accumulating 37 gold, 88 silver, and 22 bronze medals.

Meanwhile, Chen Yun-Chung and Wang Shao-Chun from Taichung Municipal First Senior High School as well as Pai Chi-Kang from the Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School led the Taiwan team at the IPhO in Indonesia. They each brought home a gold medal at this year’s event, in which nearly 400 students from 86 countries took part.

Since 1994, Taiwan competitors have earned 67 gold, 24 silver and 18 bronze medals at the event for burgeoning physicists.

In an effort to encourage local students to participate in international olympiads, the MOE offers rewards of NT$200,000 (US$6,500), NT$100,000 and NT$50,000 for gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively. According to the ministry, participating in the competitions helps students develop international perspectives by giving them the opportunity to engage with peers around the world. (KWS-E)

Image: Courtesy of MOE

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