What is EGMO?
The European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) is a mathematical problem solving contest for female second level students. EGMO 2018
will take place in Florence, Italy from 9-15 April 2018. Over 39 countries will be represented, each by a team of up to four young mathematicians. The contest will consist of two sets of tough problems, with 4½ hours for each problem set. The first EGMO was held in Cambridge, UK, in 2012.
The Irish team at EGMO 2017 in Zurich, Switzerland. From left to right: Yuelin (Mandy) Xiong, Antonia Huang, Jean O'Brien, and Anna Mustata. The Deputy Leader was Anca Mustata and the Team Leader was Andrei Mustata.
Why the EGMO?
The EGMO is one of many international contests for young mathematical problem solvers. The most famous, most prestigious and most significant such contest is the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO)
which has been held on an (almost) annual basis since 1959. The IMO is hosted in a different country every July; IMO 2018 will take place in Romania. The 2017 IMO in Brazil had 615 contestants from 111 countries. The first IMO, held in Romania in 1959, had 52 contestants from 6 countries. Ireland has participated every year since 1988. Despite the steady and dramatic increase in IMO participation over the years, the gender split amongst the contestants remains strikingly unbalanced. Approximately 10% of the contestants at the 58th IMO in Brazil in 2017 were female; this proportion is roughly typical of recent years. However, some female contestants occupy prominent positions in the IMO hall of fame; for example, Lisa Sauermann
of Germany is currently the third most successful mathematical olympian ever. Female mathematical talent seems to be a vastly underused resource, and one goal of the EGMO is to encourage more female students to participate in mathematical problem-solving. The venture was inspired by the very successful China Girls' Mathematical Olympiad. Young mathematicians of both sexes are invited to take part in the nationwide programme of activities leading to Ireland's participation in the International Mathematical Olympiad.
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