In March 2017 two teams of girls in Grade 11 and 12 went to Vienna, Austria, to compete in a senior mathematics competition hosted by the International Schools Mathematics Teachers Foundation (ISMTF). Two Grade 12 students reflect on the trip.
Vienna is an old city and a little plain and rusty, but the whole ISP team was vibrant enough to lighten up the city, which is where we participated in the international mathematics competition held at the University of Vienna.
Don't be mistaken by the picture above because we didn't win the competition, although we came pretty close. The maths questions were difficult, but our team spirit allowed us to get through the six hours of intense battle. Following the competition on Saturday, there was the Sunday chase during which we got to meet students from all over Europe and connect through our strong passion for maths. We exchanged our maths explorations for the International Baccalaureate (IB) and our sentiments on the competition questions. We were soon able to realize that everyone was very intelligent and engaged in maths and we felt more motivated to continue studying it.
In addition to the competition itself, we also had the opportunity to explore Vienna and try the famous Viennese Sacher cake. Unfortunately, however, the weather was against us. Strong rain throughout the weekend encouraged indoor visits in cafes and the consumption of cake, which did eventually energize us to do more intense maths!
Overall, the maths trip to Vienna was very inspiring since it was our first time dealing with challenging math questions outside of our maths syllabus, against Europe's infamous "maths geniuses". We hope that we have become a part of that community and that next year ISP will perform even better at the competition!
Aga and Hyunmin