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The International Mathematics Olympiad Issue number
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The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) is a competition for high school students, which involves the solution of mathematical problems. It is held every year in July in a different country.
The IMO is the oldest international Olympiad on a specific subject. The first IMO was held in Romania in 1959 and 7 countries participated – Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the GDR, Poland, Romania and the USSR. Since then this event has been held every year with the exception of 1980 and the number of countries that participated has gradually increased. Currently around 600 students from more than 100 countries participate in the competition, making the IMO the most popular science Olympiad. In 2019, the 60th jubilee, the IMO will be held in the United Kingdom. In Slovakia the IMO was held in 1971 in Žilina. Czechoslovakia and after 1993, Slovakia, have participated in the competition every year.
Each country may send up to six students to the competition, they may be accompanied by two country leaders. The event last for approximately one week and the competition itself lasts 2 days. On each of these days the students have 4.5 hours to solve three problems. The problems are presented in the student’s mother tongue and the participants may also answer using their mother tongue. Once the competition has ended, the solutions are translated for the benefit of the jury by the country leaders, who after consultation with the leaders score the solutions. This score determines the ranking of the participants, from which the medals are awarded: approximately 8% of the participants are awarded gold medals, then approximately 17% receive silver medals and 25% receive bronze medals. From 1993 to 2018, Slovakia has received 5 gold, 34 silver and 69 bronze medals.
The participating students qualify for the IMO based on the results of the National Mathematical Olympiad and camps. In Slovakia the Mathematical Olympiad is organized by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic in collaboration with the Union of Slovak Mathematicians and Physicists and the Slovak Committee of Mathematical Olympiad.
For more details see (the official IMO website) and (the official MO website in Slovakia).

Peter Novotný

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