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Sunday, September 9, 2012

12-year-old Pinoy got perfect score at Australian math contest

Answer this in a heartbeat:
The Fibonacci numbers are F(1)=1, F(2)=1, F(3)=2, F(4)=3, F(5)=5, F(6)=8, F(7)=13, ... where the first two are both equal to 1, and from then on, each one is the sum of the two preceding it. Of the first 2004 Fibonacci numbers, how many have 2 as their last digit?
Twelve-year-old Filipino student Farrel Eldrian Wu got it right easily—and aced the rest of the 30 questions in the Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) held on Aug. 2 worldwide.
AMC is an annual event where students from third grade until second year college (at least in the Philippines) solve a series of math problems in 60 minutes (for third to sixth grade) or 75 minutes (for seventh grade to 12th grade or second year college in the Philippines). 
The contest is divided into three levels—junior (grades three to six), intermediate (grades seven to second year high school), and senior (3rd year high school to 2nd year college), said Dr. Simon Chu in a phone interview, Mathematics Trainers Guild (MTG) president.
In the country, it is supervised by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) in cooperation with the MTG. It is held in at least four areas all over the country—one in the National Capital Region, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, said Robert Degolacion, MTG office director, in a phone interview.
In this file photo, Farrell Wu shows the medal and trophies he won in a math contest in Taiwan held last July. Photo courtesy of MTG
Wu, a grade seven student at MGC New Life Christian Academy in Taguig City, edged out 500,000 contestants from over 30 countries worldwide in the intermediate level.
In a statement, Wu said he found the AMC questions "challenging."
“The contest paper was done creatively. The problems were written in a way that they were not the typical school problems, but instead require logical thinking and approach with solutions that are not straightforward,” he added.
Another student who got perfect score was Zhi Yi Bernard Teo of Singapore. Wu and Zhi Yi won the Peter O’Halloran Certificate, the highest award in AMC.
Chua said in a statement, “Seventy-three Filipino students among the 3,617 Filipino students who joined this year's AMC won medals and awards for belonging to the perfect scorers, 99 and 99+ percentile. 
This is not the first time the Philippines faired well in the competition, said Chua.
“Every year, we are winning (at AMC), we get very excellent scores. If I remember correctly, this is the third time a Filipino got a perfect score,” said Chua.
AMC started in 1978. However, the Philippines joined the competition only by 1992. In year 2000, DOST-SEI expanded the program and had students all over the Philippines joined the competition.
Chua also said that the two-year handicap felt in other international math and science competitions was not felt at AMC. 
Because the competition is divided into three levels, Filipino students are able to compete within their age-level, said Chua.
“Fairly enough, the problems suit our Basic Educational Curriculum and it does not require advanced formulas but only creative thinking," Wu said.
Wu also said he was not really aiming for a perfect score.
"After joining several math competitions, I have already learned not to focus on the awards. But instead joining a competition is already winning in itself,” Wu said.
He added, “To be given the opportunity to participate in any competition and to have the chance to answer beautiful math problems with fellow mathletes around the world are more important to me." 
Other winners
This year's Filipino medalists and AMC prize awardees who belong to the top scorers and 99+ percentile are:
  • Farrell Eldrian Wu - MGC New Life Christian Academy
  • Andrew Brandon Ong - Chiang Kai Shek College
  • John Thomas Chuatak - St. Stephen's High School
  • Justin Yturzaeta - Jubilee Christian Academy
The prize awardees who belong to the 99+ percentile are:
  • Bryce Ainsley Sanchez - Grace Christian College
  • Eion Chua - MGC New Life Christian Academy
  • Dion Stephan Ong - Ateneo de Manila Grade School
  • Matthew Eric Tan - St. Stephen's High School
  • Patrick Nino Policarpio - Greenpark Montessori Learning Center
  • Christian Philip Gelera - UP Integrated School
  • Shaquille Wyan Que - Grace Christian College
  • Deany Hendrick Cheng - Grace Christian College
The high distinction certificate awardees who belong to the 99 percentile are:
  • Immanuel Josiah Balete - St. Stephen's High School
  • Sted Micah Cheng - Hope Christian High School
  • Hiraya Marcos - Philippine Cultural College-Main
  • Kaizen Naquita - SPED Integrated School de Iloilo
  • Rene-John Ongchua - Solomon Integrated School de Iloilo
  • Trisha Danielle Sia - Chiang Kai Shek College
  • Dan Alden Baterisna - Colegio San Agustin Makati
  • Adolph Monji Chen - Xavier School
  • Drew Skyler Co - Jubilee Christian Academy
  • Maxinee Louise Co - Ateneo de Iloilo-SMCS
  • Miguel Bradford Lao - Philippine Cultural College-Main
  • Jacob Peralta - PAREF Southridge School
  • Steven Reyes - St. Jude Catholic School
  • Trisha Denise Siy - MGC New Life Christian Academy
  • Philmon Wee - Xavier School
  • Juan Pablo Abola - PAREF Southridge School
  • Alodia Carey Baisas - Colegio San Agustin-Binan
  • Szel Leeven Embay - La Salle Academy
  • John Henry Marquez - UP Integrated School
  • Raymund Carlo Masbano - St. John's Institute
  • Zeidrich Monares - UP Integrated School
  • Stefan Marcus Ong - St. Jude Catholic School
  • Lance Christian Ting - St. Stephen's High School
  • Bon Leif Amalla - Colegio San Agustin-Binan
  • Luke Matthews Bernardo - Philadelphia High School
  • Vicente Raphael Chan - Zamboanga Chong Hua High School
  • Jinger Chong - St. Jude Catholic School
  • Jan Joshua Cruz - Pasig Catholic School
  • Shamira Liao - St. Stephen's High School
  • Jose Ignacio Locsin - St. John's Institute
  • Eason Wong - Philippine Cultural College-Caloocan
  • Clyde Wesley Ang - Chiang Kai Shek College
  • Kyle Patrick Dulay - Philippine Science High School-Main
  • Xavier Jefferson Go - Zamboanga Chong Hua High School
  • Grant Aaron King - Grace Christian College
  • Angelika Joie Tagupa - Colegio San Agustin-Binan
  • Raphael Villaluz - Philippine Science High School-Main;
  • Raymond Joseph Fadri - Makati Science High School
  • Kelsey Lim Tiong Soon - Grace Christian College
  • Albert Jason Olaya - Philippine Science High School-Main
  • Ezekiel Christian Ong - UNO High School
  • Gerald Pascua - Philippine Science High School-Main
  • Vince Benedict Say - St. Jude Catholic School
  • Adrian Reginald Sy - St. Jude Catholic School
  • James Vincent Tan - Bayanihan Institute
  • Jonn Angel Aranas - Makati Science High School
  • Nathanael Joshua Balete - St. Stephen's High School
  • Austin Edrich Chua - St. Jude Catholic School
  • Francis Concepcion - Philippine Cultural College-Main
  • Ma. Czarina Angela Lao - St. Jude Catholic School
  • Reine Reynoso - Philippine Science High School-Main
  • Matthew-Ryan Tan - St. Jude Catholic School
  • Kaye Janelle Yao - Grace Christian College
  • Karli Ang - Philippine Institute of Quezon City
  • Jervis Chua - Philippine Cultural College Main
  • Aaron Jevon Dy - Xavier School
  • Martin Lewis Koa - St. Jude Catholic School
  • Himig Marcos - Philippine Cultural College Main
  • Ron Gabriel Navarro - Philippine Science High School
  • Lorenzo Gabriel Quiogue - Ateneo de Manila High School
  • Jason Allan Tan - Jubilee Christian Academy
–KG, GMA News

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