International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp


International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp

The International Mathematical Olympiad Training Camp (IMOTC) is a one-month long annual training camp held in India to select and train students for the International Mathematical Olympiad.

election

Eligibility

Since the IMOTC's primary goal is to select students for the IMO, the same eligibility criteria used for the IMO are also used for the IMOTC. Namely the student must have not yet formally joined college. Thus, the last time a person can attend the IMOTC as a student is just after finishing his or her twelfth standard.

First time selection

Selection to the IMOTC is through the Indian National Mathematics Olympiad (INMO for short).The procedure is as follows:

* October-November: Students register for the Regional Mathematical Olympiad.
* November-December: Students give the RMO.
* February (first Sunday): 30 selected students from each region write the INMO.
* February end: The top 30 students across the country, with at most 6 students finishing Class XII, and a certain minimum number of girls, are invited to attend the IMOTC.

Students are advised to apply for their passports before the end of March so that they have a valid passport for travel in case of selection to the IMO team.

Students attending the camp for the first time are termed "juniors".

election for further years

After the IMOTC, students are sent postal problems at intervals of 15 days and asked to send in their solutions with a deadline of about a month. Students who send all their postal solutions on time and make a sincere effort to solve the problems are usually selected for the IMOTC the next year without having to write the INMO. Those students who fail to perform satisfactorily in the postals are informed by the beginning of January and are expected to write the INMO again in February.

Students attending the camp for the second time are termed "seniors". There are typically around twenty seniors. Separate classes are held for seniors and they are required to come somewhat later during the camp.

This continues till the student has finished school.

Location, timing and expense coverage

Location of the camp

For the last 7 years or more, the IMOTC has been held at the Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education [http://www.hbcse.tifr.res.in] in Mumbai, just ahead of the Anushaktinagar bus depot. Free shared accommodation is arranged for students in the New Bachelor's Hostel (NBH) located inside Anushaktinagar.

Meals

Till the year 2005, lunch on working days used to be provided in the HBCSE canteen while the remaining meals used to be arranged in the Training School Hostel (TSH) next to NBH.

In 2006, all meals except breakfast were arranged in the HBCSE canteen on all days. Breakfast was served at TSH.

In 2007, all meals including breakfast were arranged in the HBCSE canteen on all days.

Timing of the camp

Because there are some students in the camp who have finished twelfth and are writing the IIT-JEE, the camp is scheduled so that all Seniors have to start attending only once the JEE is over. Moreover, the Selection Tests (as discussed below) begin only once the Seniors have arrived and settled down.

This was a particular problem when the IIT JEE main examination was held towards the end of the month of May because that forced the camp to begin quite late. Now, with the IIT JEE being held in April, the camp begins in the first week of May and ends by the end of May. Seniors are asked to come a week late.

Expense reimbursement

Travel between the place of residence to the Mumbai railway station and between there to Anushaktinagar is fully reimbursed by the camp. The accepted mode of travel is A.C. Three Tier. Students are also given a Daily Allowance of Rs. 50 to cover any expenses and accidentals.

election Procedure

Practice Tests

There are two Practice Tests held around ten days after the Juniors have come, with a gap in between. The second practice test is also given by the Seniors. The practice tests "do not count in the selection procedure" and are meant merely as a warm up exercise.

election Tests

Till 2006, five Selection Tests were held over a period of 13 days, with two days of rest between two successive selection tests. Each selection test comprises three questions with a total allotted time of 4.5 hours. Students are expected to write formal solutions to each problem separately. Each problem carries a weightage of ten marks. But from 2007 onwards, there will be four selection tests and the maximum marks for a problem will be seven.

Typically, the difficulty level within a Selection Test is in ascending order. Between the selection tests, the third and fourth are supposed to be the toughest.

The Selection Test results are given as and when corrected. The student can haggle with the person checking for marks, and once both are satisfied, the answer script is returned to the authorities. In 2007,

The Selection Tests are "same" for both Juniors and Seniors and so is the marking scheme, although Seniors may be expected to be more careful in their formal reasoning.

The final selection is based on the "total score" in all the five selection tests. Namely, students with the top six total scores make it to the team. Typically, the bottom ranking places are closely fought.

Here are the scores in past years:
*2007: Maximum 72, cutoff 44 (Maximum marks were 84, instead of the usual 150.)
*2005: Maximum 82, cutoff 67
*2004: Maximum 130, cutoff 94
*2003: Maximum 127, cutoff 88
*2002: Maximum 103, cutoff 71

Cutoff values need to be assessed carefully relative to the level of difficulty of problems.

Training done

Regular teachers

Teachers come from across the country to train students at the IMOTC. Some of them stay for the entire one month duration, while others stay for shorter duration. These include:

* Permanent members of the MO Cell including C.R. Pranesachar, B.J. Venkatachala.
* From Pune: V.V. Acharya, S.A. Katre
* From Punjab: Vinod Kumar Grover
* From Delhi: Ravi B. Bapat, Amitabh Tripathi
* From Northeast: M.B. Rege
* From Tamil Nadu: K.N. Ranganathan, Sadagoppan Rajesh, Hemalatha Thiagarajan
* From Mumbai: S.S. Sane, P.D. Chawathe, Zafar Ahmed, Joseph Amal Nathan
* From West Bengal: Mahendra Datta, Satyajit Chaudhari
* From Karnataka: B.J.Venkatachala, C.R.Praneshachar, C.S.Yogananda
* From Andhra Pradesh: Shailesh Shirali

Guest lectures

Lecturers from TIFR sometimes come to give a few guest lectures in between. The most frequent visitor is M.S. Raghunathan.

Medalist sessions

On the last day, the previous year's medalists are invited to give short sessions with students that may cover problems, theory, or techniques relating to Olympiads. Those medalists not attending the camp themselves are sent a special invitation to come for a few days. This also gives students in the camp to interact with people who have been to the IMO and are now in college.

Composition

Regional composition

Every year, between 5 to 15 of the Juniors are from Pune. This is largely due to the presence of Bhaskaracharya Pratishthana, a small research institution in Pune that also takes classes for Olympiad aspirants as well as puts its excellent library at the disposal of students. Students from the parts of Maharashtra also often come to BP for the summer to spend some time and attribute their success, at least in some measure, to this interaction.

An interesting consequence of this is that Marathi becomes one of the unofficially dominant languages of the camp.

In fact, in 2006, five out of the six team members were from Maharashtra.

From the trend in the past five years, we observe that 2-4 students in the final team are from Pune each time.

Calcutta was the first city to have 4 out of 6 students in the final team. This happened in 2001.

The Delhi region is often well represented, but not consistently. For instance, in 2002, there were six students from Delhi in the INMO, whereas in 2003 and 2004, there were 2 and 1 students respectively. 2005 saw a revival of Delhi with 5-6 students.

Orissa and Chennai have been well-represented for the past few years, which may again be attributed to relatively serious training programs. In 2008, in particular 9 students from Chennai attended the IMOTC including both juniors and seniors, a sizable number.

Students from Andhra Pradesh sporadically qualify for the camp (in fact, in the past few years, they have been a regular feature at the camp), but the lack of any training programme whatsoever shows in the inconsistent performance of the students at the camp.

Gender composition

The IMOTC usually has around 2-3 junior girls. 2004 was a low with only one girl among the Juniors.The final team had its first girl student in 2002, Shubhangi Saraf from Pune. In 2003, 2004, and 2005, there was one girl student in the team. 2006 & 2007 were again full boys' teams.

Age composition

Every year, there are six students who have finished twelfth class. A majority of the remaining students are entering twelfth, and can thus come only one more time to the camp.

However, every year sees at least 5-6 students from lower classes making it as Juniors. The youngest class from which a person has got into the IMOTC is eighth class (that is, entering ninth class). The first person to do so was Swarnendu Datta.

The composition of the final team has on average, 4 Seniors and 2 Juniors. Often, those making it to the team are people who first came to the camp at the end of tenth class, and started making it to the team the next year. Exceptions at the young end of the spectrum include:

* Rishi Raj who first came to the camp, and went to the IMO, at the end of 9th class. He bagged four silver medals.
* Swarnendu Datta who first came to the camp finishing 8th class and first went to the IMO finishing 9th class.
* Abhishek Hemanthkumar Dang who first came to the camp and went to the IMO finishing 9th class. He has two silvers, one bronze medal and one HM.

Post selection

election announcement

The day after the last Selection Test is a holiday. The next day, the team for the IMO is formally announced with members in alphabetical order of surname.

All students then need to apply for a visa to the country to which they are travelling. Typically, some last minute research is done on how to apply for a visa and a letter of permission by the Government is given to each student.Along with the students the Team Leader and the Deputy Leader, and possibly some Observers, also need to get their visas.

Tickets are arranged by a travel agency and either sent to the students by post or given to them in the Pre Departure Camp.

Pre Departure Camp

For about 7-8 days before leaving for the IMO, the six selected students attend a Pre Departure Camp. This is typically of a lower profile than the IMOTC with only 2-3 instructors and a more informal atmosphere of problem solving and discussions. Some of this time goes in other activities such as:

* Roaming around the city
* Filling insurance forms
* Buying cheap but good looking souvenirs to give out to people of other countries
* Learning the language/culture of the country to which they are going

All expenses pertaining to travel and accommodation for the Pre Departure camp are also reimbursed by those sponsoring the whole show.

Performance at the IMO

India has been winning a steady stream of medals at the IMO and coming in the top 20 nations for the past ten years. see|India at the International Mathematical Olympiad

Clashes with other Olympiads

Timing clashes

The Training Camps for Physics, Chemistry and Biology are all held in the same place (HBCSE) and are of shorter duration (1 to 2 weeks). It is ensured that the Physics and Chemistry Olympiad Training Camps do not clash with each other, and it is also ensured that the Chemistry and Biology camps do not clash with each other. But all of them overlap with the Maths camp.

The other two Olympiad camps, namely those of Informatics and Astronomy, are currently kept disjoint from the Maths camp. The Astronomy camp is held "before" the maths camp begins and the Informatics camp is held "after" the maths camp ends.

tudents in the intersection

General trends regarding intersections:
* Every year, there are around 3-4 students common between the IMOTC and IOITC (The camp for Informatics).Several students who have been to the IOI have also attended IMOTC including Indraneel Mukherjee, Shreevatsa R, Harpreet Singh,Swarnendu Datta and Pradeep Mathias. The converse usually does not happen: people in the IMO team rarely go for the IOITC. The exception is Swarnendu Datta who has gone for the IMO four times and also went for the IOITC in his final year.
* Many of the students just finishing twelfth, who are among the Seniors in the IMOTC, get in to the Physics, Chemistry and Biology camps (in decreasing order of numbers). Since most of these people are more interested in the other subjects, or in some cases feel more comfortable with them, they tend to skip the maths camp for camps in other subjects. The IPho Gold Medalist Shubham Mittal, and the IBO silver medalist S. Mahavir, are some examples of winners in other Olympiads who have attended the IMOTC.
* Abhishek Dang, who went to the IMO after finishing ninth class, has also gone to the Astronomy Olympiad twice already, again beginning in his ninth class.

Further benefits

cholarships

* The NBHM gives a scholarship to all students who have cleared INMO, provided they pursue mathematics. The scholarship amount, as of 2006, is Rs. 2500 per annum.
* Students selected for the IMO are eligible for the KVPY Science Stream Fellowship. This amounts to Rs. 5000 per month plus a grant of Rs. 8000 annually.

Prizes and emoluments

* At each training camp, students receive a T shirt and a bag. Those going to the IMO are given another copy of the T-shirt and also a suitcase to carry their belongings.
* Students coming to the IMOTC the first time receive two books -- "What Is mathematics" and "Men of mathematics".
* Students who come as Seniors to the IMOTC receive books and cash totalling to Rs. 5000.
* Students receiving medals in the IMO get Rs. 10000 from Infosys and Rs. 3000, Rs. 4000, or Rs. 5000 from NBHM depending on whether their medal is bronze, silver or gold.

Admissions

The Chennai Mathematical Institute offers direct admission for its B.Sc. (Hons) Mathematics programme to students who have cleared INMO. This is somewhat different from its earlier policy of granting direct admission to students who have attended the IMOTC once and qualified as Seniors the next time. However, the policies are subject to change.

From 2008 onwards, ISI Bangalore directly selects INMO awardees for their interview exempting them from the entrance exam.Going to the IMO, or even attending the IMOTC and performing well on the selection tests there, is an important asset in application to foreign universities. Every year, at least 1 or 2 students from the IMO team and 1 or 2 others go the U.S. to pursue their B.S. degrees in mathematics. Others join CMI or ISI Bangalore to pursue the B.Sc.(Hons) Mathematics and B.Math. programmes respectively. Occasionally, students from the team may choose to pursue mathematics or engineering degrees from the IITs such as IIT Kanpur.

ee also

* Regional Mathematical Olympiad
* Indian National Mathematical Olympiad
* India at the International Mathematical Olympiad
* International Mathematical Olympiad
* Other Indian olympiad training camps:
** International Olympiad in Informatics Training Camp

External links

* [http://www.isid.ac.in/~rbb/olympiads.html Page on Olympiads by Professor R.B.Bapat, the National Coordinator]
* [http://www.bprim.org Page of Bhaskaracharya Pratishthana, giving information about Olympiads]
* [http://www.nbhm.dae.gov.in/olympiad.html NBHM official page on Olympiads]
* [http://www.iisc.ernet.in/mocell/ Official page of the MO cell]
* [http://mathsolympiad.googlepages.com/ Mathematics Olympiad Help Site - India]


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