The World Federation of National Mathematics Competitions is a loosely structured confederation of persons interested in the creation of school mathematics competitions and their employment in developing the talents of young people.
The materials prepared for competitions provide materials for teachers to use in enriching class activities. The problems posed challenge students during the competitions but even more so as they prepare for them to stretch their analytic skills. Hence mathematics competitions, used sensibly, provide growth and stimulation for both students and their instructors.
At the Seville meetings the World Federation of National Mathematics Competitions focussed on the creation of a constitution and a restructuring of its organization. At its meetings there were a number of interesting presentations, including a delightful discussion of map colouring in Victorian times, given by Alexander Soifer of the United States.
In July, 1998, the Federation met for its own congress in Zhong Shan, China. The congress was organized by Zhonghu Qiu and Pak-Hong Cheung, who did a superb job in planning an excellent program, working with the Federation Program Committee headed by Peter Taylor of Australia. The academic program was a success, due to the hard work of the committee, assisted by Andy Liu of Canada. Sessions focussed on local, provincial, and national competitions, a sharing of experiences; a consideration of research on issues such as gender bias and curriculum development; resources available; mathematical puzzles and recreations; and geometry in mathematics competitions.
The meetings, held at Chung Shan Hot Springs Resort in Zhong Shan, were attended by some eighty persons from countries around the world, and were highly successful. A feature of the meetings was the presentation of Erdös Medals, for outstanding contributions to school mathematics education through competitions and associated activities to Wolfgang Engel of Germany, Agnis Andzans of Latvia, and Mark Saul of the United States, each of whom is recognized world-wide.
Ronald G. Dunkley, C.M. President
Faculty of Mathematics, University of Waterloo
Waterloo, N2L 3G1, Ontario, Canada