Youngest winner in maths tests

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 September, 2011, 12:00am


A nine-year-old Hongkonger is the youngest double-distinction winner in the World Class Tests in mathematics and problem solving, according to results released this week. This year, 30 per cent of the Hong Kong participants attained distinctions - 15 per cent higher than the international average.

The tests were organised by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in April. About 2,000 students signed up in two age groups: eight to 11, and 12 to 14.

Tsang Kwun-lam, nine, from Tai Po Old Market Public School, is one of the youngest participants to achieve a double distinction.

His mother, Janet Yip Mei-lin, said her son showed talent in maths since he was two. 'He knew how to add and subtract in kindergarten,' she said. 'He always offers to tally the bill when we're eating out.'

To build her son's skills, Yip sent him to advanced maths courses such as calculus. Kwun-lam has earned more than 10 maths awards.

Wong Man-yu, maths professor at HKUST, says local students have room for improvement. 'They were well trained in doing examination papers, especially in answering multiple-choice questions,' Wong said. 'But they need to strengthen their reasoning and presentation.'