Canadian IMO Team Strikes Gold…

… and Silver and Bronze!

This year’s Canadian IMO (International Mathematics Olympiad) had a clean-up year for medals at this year’s competition.  The team, coached by Lindsey Shorser (an instructor with the Math Department), along with David Arthur, Ralph Furmaniak, and Alex Fink, won 6 medals (one for each of the team members).  In addition, the team leader was Jacob Tsimerman, who was a former U of T undergraduate math specialist.

In total the Canadian team walked away with 3 gold medals, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.  This success ranks Canada 5th in the world out of 100 countries which is the best standing Canada has received since it started participating in the IMO in 1981.

The full story, complete with a picture of the team and a breakdown of the medals, can be found here

Further Stories

Our congratulations go to the team, its leaders and its coaches!  Great work!

2012 UG Math Competition

The Department would like to congratulate all who took part in the 2012 Undergraduate Mathematics Competition.  Overall there were 38 candidates who participated in this year’s event.  Of those 3 were from the Scarborough campus and 1 was from Mississauga.

The top five students, ranked in order are:

  1. Jonathan Zung, II Mathematics/Computer Science
  2. Yu Wu, Engineering Science
  3. Keith Ng, IV Physics
  4. Jialin Song, I Mathematics/Computer Science
  5. Jonathan Love, I Mathematics

The next ranking students are listed in two categories, each in alphabetical order.

Category II:

  • Rong Xi Guo
  • Mengdi Hua
  • Xuan Ju
  • Yiyang Lin
  • Mengye RenSusanna Rumsey
  • Pei Jun Zhao

Category III:

  • Anne Dranovski
  • Shuo Gu
  • Man Li
  • Samer Seraj
  • Matthew Sourisseau
  • Ian Weaver
  • Elise Yi Qian Yuan

The problems and solutions are posted on Professor Barbeau’s website and can be found here!

Our thanks go out to Nick Chenand and John Inciura for invigilating, Ilia Binder and Felix Recio who assisted in the marking and Edward Barbeau for organizing the event.

Putnam 2011

We are pleased to announce the Putnam results for 2011.

Our warmest congratulations go to Jialin Song, who received an honorable mention and ranked 55 in North America, and among the top two contestants in Canada.

The University of Toronto team consisting of Alexander Remorov, Jonathan Zung, and Keith Ng ranked eleventh. All of the team members were ranked among 120-180 best in North America.

The top five teams in order were Harvard, Carnegie-Mellon, Caltech, Stanford and MIT. Harvey Mudd College, University of British Columbia, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, and Williams College placed among the top ten.

All told, 4440 students from 572 institutions competed.

Full results and the announcement can be found here

Putnam Players Profiled

UofT Magazine recently sat down with a few of our past and current Putnam writers to profile the history of this competition and provide some “food for thought” for those interested in finding out about the types of questions asked.

The article can be found here

This year’s Putnam competition was written on Saturday, December 3rd by a group of 35 students.  The results of this competition will be announced sometime in April 2012.

2010 Putnam Results

We are pleased to announce the Putnam results for 2010.

Konstantin Matveev was the best Canadian contestant and among the top twenty in North America. He will receive the Nathan Mendelsohn Prize for this honour.

In addition, Alexander Remorov received an honorable mention with the score among the thirty best in North America. Keith Ng and Jonathan Zung also ranked in 101-200 range.

The University of Toronto team consisting of Alexander Remorov, Konstantin Matveev and Sida Wang ranked tenth.

The top five teams in order were Caltech, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley and University of Waterloo.

Duke, Princeton, Stanford and University of British Columbia placed among the top ten.

All told, 4296 students from 546 institutions competed; there were teams from 442 institutions.

Congratulations to all our participants!

2011 Undergraduate Mathematics Competition

The eleventh annual University of Toronto Undergraduate Mathematics Competition was written on Sunday, March 6,2011. There were twenty-six candidates writing on all three campuses.

We would like to thank Nick Cheng for organizing the Scarborough site and John Inciura for organizing the Mississauga site.

The top two papers were very close; after checking by Ed Barbeau, Felix Recio, Ilia Binder and Franklin Vera Pachebo, it was decided to award a tie for first place.

The paper and solutions can be seen at

A full list of previous winner can be found at:


Honour students in order of rank [Scores 27-58]

1. Remorov, Alexander     III AS Mathematics & Statistics
1. Ng, Keith              III AS Mathematics & Physics
3. Sagatov, Sergei        IV  AS Mathematics
4. Chen, Philip           II  Engineering Science
5. Sun, Fengwei           UTSC
6. Huo, Jungwei           II  AS Economics & Statistics
7. Hua, Mengdi            II  AS Economics

Second category in alphabetical order [Scores 10-21]

Baydina, Viktoriya        II  AS Mathematics & Physics
Dhillon, Amanjit          I   Engineering Science
Guo, Kinyan
Hu, Shufeng
Jiang, Lin
Kidwai, Omar
Park, Sang Hee
Rumsey, Susan Elizabeth

There were 11 additional candidates with scores in the range 0 to 6.

Congratulations to the candidates for their participation and solutions to the problems.

Putnam Competition Results Are In

The Department would like to congratulate this year’s Putnam competition team.  Once again the Mathematics Department at the University of Toronto has placed in the top ten.  We share this honour with MIT, Harvard, CalTech, Stanford, Princeton, Duke, Maryland, Virginia and Waterloo (click here for full results)

This year’s team:

  • Victoria Krakovna (senior) — This is the fourth time she has participated in the competition and last year she won the Elisabeth Putnam prize for best result by a female student.
  • Alexander Remorov (sophomore) — This is the second time he has participated.
  • Konstantin Matveev (junior) — This is his third participation in the competition where he made the top 20 last year and the year before that.

From the official Putnam website: The competition began in 1938 and is designed to stimulate a healthful rivalry in mathematical studies in the colleges and universities of the United States and Canada.  The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is an annual contest for college students established in 1938 in memory of its namesake.  The Elizabeth Lowell Putnam Prize was established in 1992 to be “awarded periodically to a woman whose performance on the Competition has been deemed particularly meritorious”. Over the years many of the winners of the Putnam competition have become distinguished mathematicians. A number of them have received the Fields Medal and several have won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

When asked for advice for future students looking to write the competition participant Victoria Krakovna had the following to say: “I am in fourth year, so I’ve participated in the Putnam four times. I practiced a lot by doing old Putnam problems both at the Putnam sessions and on my own. The competition has two parts, each part is 3 hours with 6 problems, arranged approximately in order of difficulty. I usually try to solve the first 3-4 problems in each half of the contest, and don’t attempt the last two much. In general it’s better to concentrate on a few problems and make good progress, rather than make small progress on all six. It’s a good idea to look at all the problems, though, for example you might be able to solve #3 without solving #2. The best advice I can offer is to do a lot of practice of old Putnam problems, as much as you can.”

The department is proud of it’s team’s achievements in this years competition!