Israeli Math Olympians Top European Competition

Weizmann Institute of Science

The Israeli delegation to EGMO. (l-r) Nicole Grossman, Noga Friedman, Tamar Pe’er, and Ya’ara Schulman. Photo credit: Future Scientists’ Center

Israeli all-female team to top Mathematical Olympiad: Noga Friedman, 9th grader from Rehovot, and Ya’ara Schulman, 10th grader from Herzliya, have recently won gold and silver medals at the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO). The competition was attended by 213 teens from 54 states; where Israel was ranked in the 9th place. The Israeli team is trained at the Weizmann Institute of Science by mathematicians – Prof. Avraham Aizenbud, the team’s director, and Lev Radzivilovsky, its head coach.

“About 20 coaches or so work with our national mathematics team”, says Prof. Aizenbud, providing us a glimpse into the backstage of Israel’s mathematics team, which includes some 50 teenagers of all genders. “The training is very intensive, and requires enormous investment from both the students and their coaches. It’s not enough to rely on their raw talent – our students need to work very hard, to really commit to the cause, in order to succeed.” The mathematics team is joined by teams of other scientific disciplines as part of Israel’s Sciences Teams initiated and managed by the Ministry of Education together with the Future Scientists’ Center, supported by the Maimonides Fund.

2021 marks the 10th anniversary of EGMO and the 6th years since Israel has joined its competing ranks. Friedman and Schulman were also joined by their fellow teammates Tamar Pe’er, also 10th grader from Herzliya, and Nicole Grossman, 12th grader from Petah Tikva.

This year the competition spanned the length of two days, during which participants had to solve advanced mathematical problems from a variety of mathematical areas – algebra, combinatorics, geometry, and number theory. “The competition this year was particularly difficult, but our students devoted their talent and energy to solving challenging problems during a total of nine hours,” says head of the delegation, Dr. Dan Carmon, which together with his deputy Dr. Miriam Farber, trained and supported the girls throughout the competition. “I applaud them and congratulate them on their well-deserving accolades and wish them many more in the future.”

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