Last night I was sick and morose from the mysterious fever that has been bugging me for a few days. And then! Came along a piece of news that worked as a super-duper tonic and in a second I was jumping up and down on my bed. And…wait for it…wait for it…
BANGLADESH TEAM HAS WON THEIR FIRST EVER SILVER MEDAL AT IMO !!!! 😀
(What better place to get Argentum from- than Argentina? :))
We have got 1 silver medal, 2 bronze medals, 2 honorable mentions, and 74 points in total- Bangladesh Team’s best performance so far.
Lots and lots of congratulations, boys. You bring the countrymen huge joy.
So Bangladesh started participating in this biggest competition for high school students worldwide in 2005. Since then we have been on a steady rise. In 2006 we got our first honorable mention, in 2009 we got our first Bronze, in 2012 we got our first Silver. Haha, seems like we have taken a three year leaping project. The biggest achievement of this project, I’d say, is that high school students in the small nooks of the country are getting into mathematics. At the beginning of Bangladesh Math Olympiad, our deputy leader, Munir Hasan Sir had to go to houses and convince parents to let their children participate. And last year, kids cried to be registered for regional olympiads with limited holding capacity. Today around 22,000 high school students take part in the preliminary rounds of Bangladesh Math Olympiad at various locations all around the country. The olympiad surpasses the realm of a competition, and becomes a festival of young people instead. Students and parents aggregate, spend a day of mathematics with renowned mathematicians. They say no to lies, memorization, and drugs. They take an oath to love their country and be good in heart. Indeed, Bangladesh Math Olympiad has turned to nothing less than a social entrepreneurship venture as described by Ryszard Praszkier in his book Social Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. Some challenges still remain though- Girls are lagging a little behind. Female participation has never been that great and in recent years it has been particularly waning. Apart from a couple of female participants, others did not have satisfactory performances in last year’s competition. We have to rectify this- slowly but surely. We have already started with arranging special training camps for girls, but have a long way to go.
What is Bangladesh Math Olympiad to me, you ask. Everybody around me knows that math olympiad has made a huge part of me. Apart from teaching me the very obvious thing- mathematics, it has taught me to dream, to fight, to love, to hope, to try, to persevere. With math olympiad, I have fallen down several times. Damn! I have fallen down hard. I have failed tests (which was a BIG shock for me back at that time), I have gotten absolute zeros, and the sky seemed to break in pieces and fall on my head. But with my family and the math olympiad team’s support I tried and tried. Thank you, Bangladesh Math Olympiad, thank you very much. I owe you myself. And I owe you the beautiful bonds I have made with beautiful people in these past five years.
On this day I remember the incredible journey I had and am still having with Bangladesh Math Olympiad. And two people I cannot but talk about. Actually I can write books on them.
First, the leader of Bangladesh IMO Team, and one of the best people I have ever come across- Dr. Mahbub Majumdar. Despite having degrees from places like MIT, Stanford U, and Cambridge U, he likes living in Bangladesh and teaching high school kids mathematics and ways to lead a good life. This is me with him in July, 2009.
Second, the deputy leader and another amazing person- Munir Hasan. It is his organization capabilities and drive that has brought Bangladesh Math Olympiad to where it is today. A picture again!- Blurred, but one of my favorites. 🙂
So yeah, Bangladesh Math Olympiad is full of awesome people- university professors, high school kids, their parents, high school teachers, and a highly active group of volunteers. I feel SO lucky to be a part of this family and hope to remain a part of this forever if God wills.
A big big congratulations to our team again. Take care, come home safely, and we will celebrate insha Allah.