The Vietnam Mathematical Society organized a ceremony on Sunday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Vietnam’s participation in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).
First held in Romania in 1959, the IMO is an annual competition for pre-collegiate students, and is the oldest of the International Science Olympiads.
Since the first team attended the contest in 1974, Vietnamese squads have always been in the top ten, with 213 medals in total, including 52 golds, 95 silvers, and 67 bronzes.
“The results of the Vietnamese teams at the International Mathematical Olympiad proves that, although our country’s educational system has limits and needs to be improved, Vietnam can also produce high school students who can reach international levels,” Prof. Tran Van Nhung, secretary general of the State Council for Professor Titles, said at the ceremony.
“The contribution of former members of the IMO Vietnam team has not only appeared in mathematics, but also other scientific fields.”
Vietnam was the first Asian team to take part in the 1974 IMO, where it surprisingly bagged four medals, including one gold, one silver, and two bronzes.
In 1979, Le Ba Khanh Trinh from Vietnam got the maximum score of 40/40 and a special prize for a contestant with excellent answers.
This remains the only time such a special award has been given in the contest’s history.
In 2003, Vietnam had two students among three contestants who scored the maximum at the contest.
The Vietnamese delegation ranked third at the International Mathematical Olympiad in 1999 and 2007.