Mathematical Fun and Games
17 May 2023 - Academic
After the popular Christmas quiz, Conundrum ran again over Easter drawing entrants from across the UK. The level of problem-solving was high, and the winners in both categories scored close to full marks which was an excellent effort. Interestingly there were joint winners in both age categories, both of whom will win prizes.
Junior Winners (Years 5-8)
Jennifer (Putney High School)
Senior Winners (Years 9 and above)
Shreya (Headington School)
Conundrum is not the only problem-solving quiz that pupils take part in. At the beginning of term, the Maths Society ran its largest-ever Team Mathematics Competition against Eton College with 88 pupils from LIV to UV. The 22 teams (five from Eton and 17 from Wycombe Abbey) competed in a group round, four shuttles and the chaotic but iconic big relay which gratuitously mixes mathematical problem-solving and running!
The top performing team of the night came from Eton College, but in second and third place we had teams from Wycombe Abbey: second place (Sofia, Isabelle, Emma and Sophie in LV) and third place (Isabella, Chung Yu, Gloria and Rebecca in UV). These teams coped extremely well with the puzzles, some of which were of Olympiad standard, but most importantly it was a high-spirited and thoroughly enjoyable event.
The Mathematics department has also been celebrating outstanding success in the UKMT individual competitions with 12 pupils qualifying for the Intermediate Mathematical Olympiad. Special mention should go to Leila, Judy, Linda, Ahjung, Sofia and Isabella who obtained Merits or Distinctions, placing them in the top 200 nationally. This is one of the strongest ever results the School has had and shows that there is great strength in depth within the Lower School cohort.
However, the highlight of the UKMT year so far has been Judy’s (LVI) achievement in the British Mathematical Olympiad Round 2 (BMO2). BMO2 is not for the fainthearted, but Judy ended up solving one of the problems and made good progress in the second. This gave her a Merit overall and the highest-ever score from a Wycombe Abbey pupil. This is particularly remarkable from a LVI pupil and it will be interesting to see what she achieves after another year of training.
UKMT competitions have resumed recently with the Junior Maths Challenge sat by all UIII and LIV pupils. We wish them every success and hope that it marks the start of an enjoyable journey in the world of recreational problem-solving.
Mr David Vaccaro
Director of Learning and Innovation
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