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June 28, 2022

Cluj Napoca hosts the 59th edition of the International Mathematical Olympiad. British Mathematician Geoff Smith: Romania is motherland of IMO

President of the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) Board, British Mathematician Geoff Smith, opened on Sunday the 59th edition of the International Mathematical Olympiad, after the youngsters of Romania’s  delegation took on the oath, on behalf of all the participants, showing that this competition, which Romania has initiated and which it organizes this year for the sixth time, must be carried out under the auspices of honesty and fair-play.

Geoff Smith was the leader of the UK team at the International Mathematical Olympiad between 2002 and 2010, which is believed to be the longest period in which a person held this position.

In the speech that he delivered at the opening of the IMO, Geoff Smith uttered some worlds in Romanian. “Romania is the motherland of the International Mathematical Olympiad. And, as a good child, it must visit its parents,” he stated in the applause of the hundreds of participants at the ceremony.

He conveyed to over 600 participants that this is an unique experience and a rare opportunity to link friendships and explore the relationship with extraordinary people all over the world.

In her turn, Deputy PM Ana Birchall conveyed to the participants, on behalf of Prime Minister Viorica Dancila, success and “inspiration in solving the problems.”

Also attending the event, Education Minister Valentin Popa referred to a quote of Galileo Galilei, underscoring the importance of this subject for the study. According to him, the first place which Romania won at the first edition of the Olympiad in 1959 stimulated entire generations of young people.

The opening ceremony continued with the parade of the participating countries – 110, this year, the delegations of each state – made up of six competitors, a leader and a deputy leader – marching with their country flag at the Polyvalent Hall of Cluj-Napoca .

Cluj-Napoca city organises in the Centennial year the 59th edition of the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), en event initiated by our country in 1959. The first edition was held in Brasov and it was attended by seven countries, and this year Cluj-Napoca organises the 7th Romanian edition of this competition, thus becoming the largest competition in the area of exact science.

The problems that will be given to children to solve will be translated into 60 languages. July 9 and 10 represent the two days of the competition. The participants will receive three problems each day. They were selected, according to the IMO regulation, from a short list of 31 subjects, which were selected from 183 problems from 40 countries. Each of the participants in the Olympiad will solve the problems individually, and, afterwards they are to receive a certain score, based on the correction scale. The marks that can be given are between 0 and 7.

Romania and Bulgaria are the only countries in the world that have participated in every edition of the IMO without interruption.

The opening ceremony on Sunday was attended by President Klaus Iohannis, who graduated the Physics Faculty of the “Babes-Bolyai” University (UBB) in Cluj-Napoca, Academician Viorel Babu, who participated in the IMO’s first edition back in 1959, President of the 2018 IMO Scientific Committee Radu Gologan, President of the Romanian Academy Ioan-Aurel Pop, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of the UBB Adrian Petrusel, Rector of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (UTCN) Vasile Topa, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca city Emil Boc, several ambassadors, MPs, local authorities.


President Iohannis: It’s an honor for Romania to have the opportunity to prove to the entire world the commitment and openness towards knowledge


“Mathematics and subjects of the Science category are essential in the curricular construction, even during early education”, President Klaus Iohannis stated on Sunday, at the opening of the 59th edition of the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO).

On this occasion, the head of the state spoke about the importance of education in the development of the future generations and that of those societies towards humanity aims at.

“I believe that mathematics and the subjects of the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are essential in the curricular construction, ever since early education, if we want to have genuine knowledge societies in the future. Unfortunately, not all children have the opportunity to access quality education. It’s important to actively work in order to improve the quality of teaching Mathematics for as many children as possible across the world. By giving them the chance to learn, we can transform lives, economies and societies. The more effective and more adequate education systems we have for the new generations and societies which we want to live in, the more we contribute to peace and world development,” President Iohannis stated.

He underscored that it’s an honor for Romania to have the opportunity to prove to the entire world the commitment and openness towards knowledge, science and international cooperation at the anniversary of the Greater Union Centennial.

At the same time, the President voiced his hope for Romania to become in the future a destination for research in the area of Sciences.

“The best way to celebrate the great successes of the past is to build a solid future for the younger generations. There isn’t a more suitable way to do this thing than to invest in education, cross-border cooperation and sustainable development. We hope that Romania becomes an attractive destination for the research in the area of Mathematics and sciences, and why not, meet some of you – as students in Romania or involved in research-cooperation projects with Romanian partners,” Iohannis showed.

The President conveyed to over 600 young contestants his confidence that they would be part of the intellectual elites of their countries and of the world in general.

“Lucian Blaga, a renowned Romanian philosopher and poet, stated that ‘the Mathematician is the tamer that domesticated the infinite’. In the coming days, I am convinced that you will demonstrate this statement, pushing, once again, your limits and that of the humanity in this area,” Klaus Iohannis mentioned.



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