Dr. Madjid Mirzavaziri, Full-Professor of Pure Mathematics at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, participated at the 15th Mathematics Festival held in UFAL University for introducing and holding up Arithland and Mathball competitions.
The 15th Mathematics Festival was held in the last week of October 2017 at UFAL University in Maceio, the capital city of the state of Alagoas, Brazil. This festival is annually held for making school and university students more interested in Mathematics and especially in mathematical Olympiads. Every year, hundreds of students and mathematicians from around the world participate in this international festival.
At the specialized roundtable on Mathematical Olympiad, the participants explored the ways for creating interest and nourishing success in Mathematical Olympiads and drew a comparison between Mathematical Olympiads in Iran and Brazil. As a keynote speaker at this roundtable, Dr. Mirzavaziri stated that “interest and success in Mathematics largely depends on the suitable environment created by teachers and students. He also said, “Success in mathematical competitions requires a two-way love, from the students as well as the teachers. When teachers really want their students to be successful at a competition and spend many hours of time without expecting anything in return, this would be more effective than any amount of budget.
While speaking of the role of teachers, Dr. Mirzavaziri also pointed to the responsibilities of governments and said, “Of course, fixed budgets have to be spent in this area and it is the responsibility of governments to invest in sciences. However, even if governments are neglectful towards their responsibilities, the reciprocal love between students and teachers may lead to great success.
Professor of Pure Mathematics at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad said, “In Iran, the medal winners at previous Mathematical Olympiads feel responsible for guiding the next generation of students. In fact, the fire of the previous medal lights the candle of the next success in such Olympiads. The suitable atmosphere created by previous mathematical Olympians in schools ensures the next generation of students that they can also be successful on an international level. This is the only secret behind Iranian students’ continuous medals in International Mathematical Olympiads. In fact, this is my perception after 22 years of teaching experience in mathematics and computer Olympiads courses in Iran”.
Responding to a question on whether or not these methods have significantly increased the interest of Iranian students in mathematics and Mathematical Olympiads, Dr. Mirzavaziri stated that “according to the statistics that I have access to, this method has significantly increased the interest and success in mathematics and Mathematical Olympiads. I really hope that after holding such competitions in Brazil, your statistics would also reflect my experiences.
It is noteworthy that the method of holding Arithland and Mathball competitions grabbed the attention of all the participants at this international festival.