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Vancouver School Board Students Head to Olympics"� in Math!

Every fall the Canadian Mathematical Society hosts a nationwide competition for students across the country. The Sun Life Financial Canadian Open Mathematics Challenge (COMC) is Canada's premier national mathematics competition, open to any student with an interest in mathematics.

From the hundreds of entrants across the country, VSB students took 14 out of 60 top prizes - more than any other district.

According to the Canadian Mathematical Society, the purpose of the Sun Life Financial COMC is to encourage students to explore, discover, and learn more about mathematics and problem solving. According to Paula Aaronson, math department head at University Hill Secondary, it's also a lot of fun.

"We have almost 100% enrolment in grade 11 and 12 in math, both boys and girls," Say Aaronson. "It's like I always say, you don't have to be a pencil pusher to be good at math. It's just a part of life, and it's fun."

University Hill Secondary students placed exceptionally well in the competition, with Grade 12 student Frank Zhu placing 3rd in Canada, and Rui Zhou "Steven" Yan taking silver in the Grade 9 category and an Honourable Mention overall.

Says Aaronson, "I can't tell you how proud we are of these kids. In no way do we take credit for their success. They are passionate, kind, and determined young men."

Churchill and Lord Byng Secondary Schools also placed well and supported a strong representation from Vancouver schools.

After the COMC, a select number of students from across the country are invited to write the Sun Life Financial Canadian Mathematical Olympiad (CMO). Students who excel in the CMO will have the opportunity to be selected as part of Math Team Canada - a team of six students who travel to compete in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).

"We are so excited," says Aaronson. "Both Frank and Steven have been invited to the Olympiad. They are such wonderful kids, and I couldn't be happier for them." 

For a complete list of COMC winners CLICK HERE

The 46th Canadian Mathematical Olympiad will be held on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

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