## Olympiad Mathematics

What is Olympiad mathematics? It is the mathematics of Olympiad mathematics competitions. Olympiad mathematics competitions are designed to promote good mathematics, thinking outside the school mathematics curriculum box and mathematical creativity. Problems in Olympiad mathematics are often solved by using solution by cases or solution by contradiction or heuristic methods.

The Sri Lanka Olympiad Mathematics Foundation was founded by some academics in the University of Colombo and the University of Kelaniya in 2004 as a nonprofit organization with the following vision:

“For Sri Lanka to be a mathematically strong country producing high class mathematicians at international level; to retain her best mathematical talent in the country; to have a culture appreciative of mathematics; and to apply mathematics for her economic and intellectual development.”

With this vision, SLOMF started the Sri Lankan Mathematical Olympiad (SLMO) in 2004. SLMO consists of two competitions: the Sri Lankan Mathematics Competition (SLMC) and the Sri Lankan Mathematics. Challenge Competition (SLMCC). SLOMF has conducted this Olympiad annually since 2004. The Sri Lankan Mathematics Competition (SLMC) is of 90 minutes duration with 30 multiple choice questions. These questions are based on basic year 10 mathematics knowledge and they introduce students to Olympiad mathematics. SLOMF has conducted this competition in Sinhala, Tamil and English mediums island wide annually since 2004.

## The Sri Lanka Olympiad Mathematics Foundation and the Sri Lankan Mathematical Olympiad

“For Sri Lanka to be a mathematically strong country producing high class mathematicians at international level; to retain her best mathematical talent in the country; to have a culture appreciative of mathematics; and to apply mathematics for her economic and intellectual development.”

With this vision, SLOMF started the Sri Lankan Mathematical Olympiad (SLMO) in 2004. SLMO consists of two competitions: the Sri Lankan Mathematics Competition (SLMC) and the Sri Lankan Mathematics. Challenge Competition (SLMCC). SLOMF has conducted this Olympiad annually since 2004. The Sri Lankan Mathematics Competition (SLMC) is of 90 minutes duration with 30 multiple choice questions. These questions are based on basic year 10 mathematics knowledge and they introduce students to Olympiad mathematics. SLOMF has conducted this competition in Sinhala, Tamil and English mediums island wide annually since 2004.

With this vision, SLOMF started the Sri Lankan Mathematical Olympiad (SLMO) in 2004. SLMO consists of two competitions: the Sri Lankan Mathematics Competition (SLMC) and the Sri Lankan Mathematics. Challenge Competition (SLMCC). SLOMF has conducted this Olympiad annually since 2004. The Sri Lankan Mathematics Competition (SLMC) is of 90 minutes duration with 30 multiple choice questions. These questions are based on basic year 10 mathematics knowledge and they introduce students to Olympiad mathematics. SLOMF has conducted this competition in Sinhala, Tamil and English mediums island wide annually since 2004.

## SLMC 8, SLMC 11 and SLMC 13

With the planned expansion of SLMC at 3 different levels this year, SLMC 8 for grades 6-8, SLMC 11 for grades 6-11and SLMC 13 for grades 6-13, it is expected that the SLMC will be the catalyst for out of the box thinking among school children that can lead to a scientific workforce more capable of research and innovation. This could be achieved through SLMC 8, the flagship competition of the three, which exposes grades 6, 7 and 8 students to out of the box thinking in mathematics that can help them to develop positive attitudes towards analytical thinking, problem solving and mathematics. It is important to note that the students in grades 6, 7 and 8 are in the formal operational stage and capable of understanding logical use of abstract concepts, hypothetical deductive reasoning and problem solving through trial and error methods according to Piaget’s cognitive development theory. So this is the best age for developing such positive attitudes.

Since doing poorly in these competitions does not affect students’ school records, they can take part in these competitions to improve their mathematical thinking. It is expected that every student in grades 6, 7 and 8 will take SLMC 8 and have a positive experience in mathematics by solving puzzle type problems in a low stress and friendly environment.