AIS/D teacher Ken Adler invigilates the first day of the 61st International Math Olympiad in Bangladesh at the Prothom Alo training room on 21 September
AIS/D teacher Ken Adler invigilates the first day of the 61st International Math Olympiad in Bangladesh at the Prothom Alo training room on 21 SeptemberSajid Hossain

The final contest of the International Math Olympiad (IMO) was to be held in St Petersburg, Russia, this year. However, due to the outbreak of coronavirus, it was decided that the contest will be arranged in the respective countries of the contestants and will be monitored from Russia. After much deliberation, the IMO authorities selected the Prothom Alo training room as the exam hall for Bangladesh.

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The inaugural ceremony of the International Math Olympiad 2020 was held virtually on 20 September. The first exam was held on Monday.

The exam was arranged at the training room of the Prothom Alo office in Kawran Bazar of the capital city. Six chairs and tables for the contestants were spaced in accordance to social distancing rules.

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Around 1:00pm, teacher of American International School, Dhaka (AIS/D), Ken Adler, arrived. Adler has been selected by IMO as the commissioner for the contest in Bangladesh. He checked the arrangements thoroughly in the exam hall.

The web camera was switched on. The test was monitored from Russia by means of the web camera. Then the six contestants of Bangladesh entered.

At the stroke of 2:00pm, the first day’s exam of the 61st International Math Olympiad began. It was a four and a half hour test.

So far the students from Bangladesh have earned one gold, 6 silver and 23 bronze medals in the IMO, as well as 31 honourable mentions. The first IMO gold medal for Bangladesh was won in 2018 by Ahmed Jawad Chowdhury of Cantonment English School in Chattogram

The first day of the contest thus took place in over 100 countries around the world. The pre-university students had to solve geometry, inequality and combinatorics problems.

The Bangladesh Olympiad Committee was founded in 2003 under the leadership of the recently demised national professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury. The objective of the committee was to develop the mathematical skills of Bangladesh students and to send representatives for Bangladesh to contest in the International Math Olympiad.

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In 2004, Dutch-Bangla Bank joined the initiative as a sponsor. Prothom Alo took responsibility of the Math Olympiad management in Bangladesh. And from 2004, the Dutch-Bangla Bank-Prothom Alo Math Olympiad began.

From 2005, students from Bangladesh participating in the International Math Olympiad, the world’s largest math even for pre-university students. So far the students from Bangladesh have earned one gold, 6 silver and 23 bronze medals in the IMO, as well as 31 honourable mentions. The first IMO gold medal for Bangladesh was won in 2018 by Ahmed Jawad Chowdhury of Cantonment English School in Chattogram.

Bangladesh Match Olympiad Committee member Mohammad Kaikobad said that this event had developed the ability to arrange merit-based international competitions in the country. The educationist said that the Math Olympiad was highlighting the talent and competence of the students at an international level.

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Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd’s managing director Abul Kashem Md Shirin said that the participation of the students in the International Math Olympiad even during the coronavirus pandemic was inspiring. He extended his best wishes to the participants and hoped their results would be better than before.

This is the 16th time Bangladesh is participating in IMO.

The second day’s exam will commence at 2:00pm Tuesday. The results will be released online on 28 September globally.