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Australian Mathematics Competition

Australian Mathematics Competition

Media Release

30 July 2008 Competition date: Thursday 31 July 2008

Today students from more New Zealand schools than ever will test their skills in one of the world’s largest annual maths competitions

The 31st annual Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) will take place on Thursday 31 July in a record number of New Zealand primary and secondary schools. Hundreds of thousands of students from a record 42 countries will sit this year’s Competition.

The annual Competition has attracted about 12.5 million entries since it began in 1978. Renowned for
its high standard and integrity, it is the first and the largest competition of its kind in the world, with more
than 1100 prizes and 60 medals awarded.

Professor Peter Taylor, Executive Director of the not-for-profit Australian Mathematics Trust, which administers the Competition, said, “There is urgent need to encourage more students to study mathematics. And this is what this Competition is about. The world is becoming more dependent on mathematics to solve complex logistical and risk-related industrial, financial, environmental and social issues. We want to motivate young people and help them understand the importance of maths to their future careers and work choices.”

The introduction of a Proficiency Certificate in Mathematics Skills and Problem Solving will be a major innovation for students entering the 2008 AMC. The AMC often uncovers talent which is not always evident in normal classroom testing, which gives added significance to the Proficiency statement.

The Competition also identifies and nurtures the exceptionally talented. About 60 students, who are outstanding both within their state or country and overall in the Competition, are awarded medals at special annual ceremonies around the world. This year awards will be presented to the New Zealand medallists at Christchurch in November.

The following sample question appeared in three of the 2007 papers (Middle Primary, Junior &
Intermediate)


SAMPLE PROBLEM:
Each of Andrew, Bill, Claire, Daniel and Eva either always lies or is always truthful, and they know which each of them is.
1. Andrew says that Bill is a liar.
2. Bill says that Clair is a liar.
3. Clair says that Daniel is a liar.
4. Daniel says that Eva is a liar.

The largest possible number of liars among them can be:
(A) 1 (B) 2 (C) 3 (D) 4 (E) 5

SOLUTION:
Assume that Andrew is a liar. Assume that Andrew tells the truth.
Then from 1, Bill must tell the truth. Then from 1, Bill is a liar.
Then from 2, Clair must be a liar. Then from 2, Clair tells the truth.
Then from 3, Daniel must tell the truth. Then from 3, Daniel is liar.
Then from 4, Eva must be a liar. Then from 4, Eva tells the truth.
This gives 3 liars and 2 who tell the truth. This gives 2 liars and 3 who tell the truth

So, the maximum number of liars is 3, hence (C).


Notes to Editors:

Based at the University of Canberra, the Australian Mathematics Trust is a financially independent non-profit organisation, whose Board contains representatives of the relevant mathematics professional societies. The competition problems are created by volunteers from the country's most experienced teachers and academics, and are extensively moderated by similar volunteers.

The AMC is the first in a pyramid of activities offered by the Trust which enable the enrichment and development of talented students in addition to those of general ability who wish to understand the value of mathematics to the world around them.

This means the AMC is really testing more than normal classroom mathematics, identifying students who can apply their knowledge to new situations. A good competition should provide real educational outcomes, enrich classroom learning and allow further development. The AMC is designed to achieve these aims.

There are separate multiple-choice papers with 30 problems on the 60-minute paper for Middle Primary School (Years 4-5) and Upper Primary (Years 6,and 7); and the 75-minute papers for Juniors (Years 8 and 9), Intermediates (Years 10 and 11) and Seniors (Years 12 and 13).

Approximately 1100 students share the $50,000 prize money. Around 80% of participants qualify for
a Certificate of High Distinction, Distinction, Credit or Proficiency. All other entrants in the Competition receive a Certificate of Participation.

ends

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