Ottawa mayor salutes mathletes

Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016

Professor Joseph Khoury; Ottawa mayor, Jim Watson; Faculty of Science dean, Steve Perry; chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Monica Nevins; and Canadian Math Society executive director, Graham Wright, stand together with one of the winn
Professor Joseph Khoury; Ottawa mayor, Jim Watson; Faculty of Science dean, Steve Perry; chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Monica Nevins; and Canadian Math Society executive director, Graham Wright, stand together with the winning team.

By Mike Foster

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson dropped by the University of Ottawa on April 29 to recognize some of the brightest math minds from 30 high schools as they competed in Math Horizons 2016.

The annual contest, put on for the past 15 years by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, involves teams of four grade 11 and secondary V students from different high schools in Ontario and Quebec solving tough math problems. There are also rounds for individuals. This year’s winning team is from Nepean’s Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School.

“These students are chosen from amongst the best math students of their schools,” professor Joseph Khoury said. “We like to expose them to a different kind of mathematics, one that they wouldn’t necessarily have in their curriculum. For the first part of the day, students learn about how math is used in research and everyday life and how math pops up in places they had never thought of before.”

Khoury says they organize the popular event on a voluntary basis to raise awareness of the benefits of careers that require a solid knowledge of mathematics. “We think of it as part of our responsibility to our community,” he says.

Mayor Watson presented awards to the kwinners and spoke about the importance of mathematics to the local economy.

Students sit at desks in a classroom working on math problems. A screen at the front of the classroom shows 10 dots organized in a triangular pattern.

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