5th March 2015, 8:41am
Competition prizes for promising young mathematicians
Sylvia Su receiving her award Promising mathematicians from schools and colleges across the East Midlands were invited to a special awards ceremony after being named finalists in a competition which posed a series of mind-bending mathematical problems.

Nine students were chosen to receive prizes following their submissions to the Mathematics Challenge 2014, a contest launched by School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Lincoln.

Five questions were posed, with the aim of testing pupils’ mathematical problem-solving prowess in geometry, number theory and combinatorics - a branch of mathematics concerning the study of finite or countable structures.

Joint first place was awarded to Sylvia Su, a Year 12 pupil from Lincoln Minster School, who correctly provided full solutions to all five problems, winning an iPad Mini as her prize.

Sylvia, who is studying A-levels in Further Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, said: “I like the feeling of satisfaction I get after answering something correctly. I would really like to go on to study something related to Mathematics at university and I hope to have a career in banking.”

Fellow first place prize winner was Laurie Wilkes, from Beauchamp College in Leicester.

The winning students were presented with certificates and prizes during a ceremony hosted by the University of Lincoln’s Professor Andrew Hunter, Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky and Dr Evgeny Khukhro.

Professor Hunter, Pro Vice Chancellor Head of the College of Science, said: “We were delighted at the number and quality of entries for the competition, which showed the great aptitude and love of Mathematics among students. These were not easy problems, requiring extra ingenuity and perseverance, and the fact two students managed to answer all five with complete solutions is a great achievement. Mathematics is the language that knits together the sciences and I am extremely proud that the University of Lincoln offers fantastic programmes in all of the main Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics related fields. We are delighted to encourage and support aspiring mathematicians and the Mathematics Challenge is set to become a regular part of the School’s calendar.”

The School of Mathematics and Physics will welcome its first intake of students in September 2015 and builds on the University’s track record in world-leading teaching and research. It has been established with support from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

To attempt the questions posed in the Mathematics Challenge 2014 and see the full solutions, including a full list of winners, click here