Love for Math!
Promiti Prova Chowdhury
Eighteen-year-old Dhananjoy Biswas seemed a bit clueless when asked what he wants to become in life. Having just done with HSC and securing a golden GPA 5, he is little bothered about things like, which subject to pursue for higher education, which university to go to etc. This shy and introvert teenager has also created a hype recently, by achieving a silver medal at the 53rd International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) 2012. IMO, which is the World Championship Mathematics Competition for high school students, is held annually in different countries. This year the Olympiad took place at Mar del Plata in Argentina. This is the first time that Bangladesh has won a silver medal at the IMO.
The Bangladeshi team at the IMO, 2012.
Photo credit: Munir Hasan
At the event, participants who secured 14-20 marks, won bronze medals, while participants with 21-27 marks, received silver. Those with marks above 28 received gold medals. Of the five-member Bangladesh National Mathematical team, Dhananjoy won the silver medal, securing 25 marks. When asked how tough the contest was, he said, “It was not that hard. In the camps held by National Math Olympiad in Dhaka, we were trained to solve problems of international standard. The ex-campers of the Olympiad guided us.” The exam at IMO had four distinctive sections including Geometry, Number Theory, Combinatory and Algebra. “My favourite part is Geometry because it is less theoretical and requires a lot of thinking,” states Dhananjoy.
Dhananjoy first participated in the National Olympiad in 2008 while studying in class nine. Mathematics has not been his favourite subject but it was a subject that entertained him. Up to class nine he used to solve only the math problems given in the text books but afterwards he started solving problems from books outside the syllabus and on the internet. Depending on his mood, he used to practice math for 7/8 hours a day. “Those who are interested to participate in Math Olympiads can visit websites like 'mathlink' and online forum of Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad. Practicing Geometry from the books of SSC level might prove helpful.” Dhananjoy was a student of Chittagong Collegiate School and Chittagong College.
Sourav Das and Nur Muhammad Shafiullah -- two other members of the Bangladesh team -- bagged bronze medals. Both of them are preparing for HSC at Dhaka College. The Olympiad was nothing less than an excursion for the students. Exuberant Sourav describes the sheer adventure they had in Argentina. “Reaching there after a journey of almost 24 hours we were exhausted. But after giving the exams on July 11 and 12, we started roaming around the city with our Guide Mauro. We went to the famous Aquarium, boat in the Atlantic Ocean, played football on the beach. We took classes on Tango dance as well!” Nur Muhammad Shafiullah is equally excited to mingle with the Math aficionados from all over the world. He targets to achieve a greater score in the next year's IMO.
The exam scripts were divided in two sets. One set was checked by the team leaders and the other was checked by the coordinators, consisting mostly of professors of different universities. Sourav exclaims, “Through practicing a lot, one gets to understand the patterns of the mathematical problems. There are some hidden tricks that need to be used. For boosting up your mind you should try solving problems given in the Math books of class nine and ten. Try it on your own, without taking help from teachers or elders. It might require a lot of time but you will learn how to think.” Sourav wants to study Physics and Mathematics and eventually turn into a researcher and academician.
The judges of the IMO announced the final result on July 16. Every year, Prothom Alo and Dutch Bangla Bank organise the Bangladesh Math Olympiad (BMO) to select members for the Bangladesh team. This year Bangladesh Math Olympiad Coach Dr Mahbub Majumder led the Bangladesh team while Munir Hasan, general secretary of the BMO Committee, was its deputy team leader. With its latest participation, Bangladesh has been in the IMO eight times. Munir Hasan says, “We look for three qualities in our members--merit, team spirit and patriotism. This year the team was well-balanced and they performed well. We expect them to contribute to the activities of BMO in future.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Graphic artist Abraham Games, now known as Abram Games, was born in Whitechapel, London on the day World War I began in 1914 (today would be his 98th birthday!). He was the son of Joseph Games, a Latvian photographer, and Sarah, a seamstress born on the border of Russia and Poland. His father anglicised the family name to Games when Abram was 12. Games left Hackney Downs School at the age of 16 and went to London's St Martins School of Art (today the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design). Disillusioned by the teaching at St Martins and worried about the expense of studying there, Games left after two terms. However, while working as a "studio boy" in commercial design firm Askew-Young in London 1932-36, he was attending night classes in life drawing. He was fired from this position due to his jumping over four chairs as a prank. In 1934, his entry was second in the Health Council Competition and, in 1935, won a poster competition for the London City Council. 1936-40, he was on his own as a freelance poster artist. Some of Britain's most iconic images include those by Games. An example is the "Join the ATS" propaganda poster of 1941, nicknamed the "Blonde Bombshell" recruitment poster. From 1942, during World War II, Games' service as the Official War Artist for posters resulted in 100 or so posters. His work is recognised for its "striking colour, bold graphic ideas, and beautifully integrated typography."
Information Source: Internet.