Comme chaque année pour les traditionnelles Olympiades de Mathématiques, le Collège accueille de nombreux élèves motivés qui souhaitent relever un défi commun : résoudre des « problèmes » d’algèbre ou de géométrie un peu plus inhabituels qu’aux cours de mathématiques … Parmi les élèves, certains participent pour la première fois, pour eux c’est une découverte plutôt intéressante ou alors quelque peu décourageante. D’autres reviennent, décidés à faire mieux ! Pour tous, cette activité est une occasion en plus de stimuler ces petits neurones et à nos yeux, professeurs de mathématiques, il est essentiel de multiplier ces occasions.

Voici quelques propos recueillis auprès d’élèves après l’épreuve 2016:

“The math Olympiads were an interesting experience I have had this year. When I signed up, I had no idea how hard it was going to be… When the test came up, to qualify for the next round, I felt confident and strangely calm. After having finished the test and having checked my answers. They asked me if I wanted to know my score straight away and I answered “YES, please!”. After seeing all the answers, I had gotten wrong, I realised I had answered too many questions and felt very disappointed. However, in the end I found the answers to the questions at home, and I think that next time, I will do better.” Ugo Giudiceandrea

« C’était pour certains d’entre nous la troisième fois que nous participions aux olympiades de mathématiques, et nous participerons sûrement à nouveau l’année prochaine. Les olympiades nous permettent d’appliquer les principes vus au cours de manière tout à fait inédite. De plus elles nous permettent de mettre en pratique nos savoirs dans des situations réelles et nous aident donc parfois à mieux comprendre l’utilité de la matière. » François Dejaegere

“If you like mathematics, you do not always find someone with whom you can talk about it or someone with whom you can enjoy it. That is why going to the OMB is a great way to talk about yours and your auditor’s common passion, mathematics. Even if you don’t like mathematics you can be impressed how they can be entertaining and funny. Of course, funny is a relative word… take for example the following joke:
“In a binary count, there are 10 types of people – those who like The OMB and those who don’t” Did you laugh? If yes, the OMB is for you. If not, I am sorry; there is always biology…” Oskar Panek

“To begin with, yes, I am writing in English about something in French. Weird right? Well that’s exactly how I was feeling while I was taking this French “Test” in French and not in the language in which I had been studying maths in for the last four, nearly five months. Actually weird might even be a bit of an understatement! But what I was feeling must have been nothing compared to my fellow classmates. So, I am a native English speaker, right, I ‘ve been speaking this, so called “international language” since I was born, I also speak French, of course, otherwise I wouldn’t be in a French speaking school. But my classmates only started English this year, third secondary, that is, so for them suddenly switch back to their native language must have been a real shock! Some of my friends actually told me that they really had to concentrate hard to understand some of the vocabulary used because they were just not used to it anymore. Isn’t that funny? French speakers doing better maths in English than in French.
Anyway, to get back to business, I find, and always have, that Maths Olympiads are very educational but actually very pleasant experience. It’s always fun to take a step back and evaluate your level in maths in more “lifelike” problems (even though some of the questions are a bit farfetched sometimes… but don’t tell anyone I said that!).” Lindsey Booth

“I took part to the event four consecutive times and I was selected only once for the semi-final. I am not that good in Maths... However, I decided to write something about it because I wanted to share my experience with other students.
Firstly, I have to say that my parents encouraged me to try. They said: “It’s a small challenge to test your abilities”. As I am shy and do not feel really confident, I did not want to try it but I could hardly say “No” so I decided to participate anyway.
That was the first time…
Nevertheless, since then I still participate regularly, even though I am not really obliged anymore.
“So, why do you keep participating every year?” will you ask me. Some people could say that I am crazy, but I think that it is quite funny when you can solve problems which first seem difficult. After all, the questions are not that difficult if you practice problems and understand well what you need to find.
Moreover, as it is a competition, it is quite exciting. Usually, I think to myself: “Try to have a higher score than your rivals, and a higher score than last year” That really boosts me up.
Finally, I think that everyone must try it at least once in their six years at the college. It is good to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and maybe you will discover that you like Maths after all.” Luna Lemoine

“Was it Mozart’s musical ability or the fact that he worked till hands were deformed? Was it Darwin’s scientific ability or the fact that he collected specimens nonstop from early childhood? Prodigies or not, we all have interests that can blossom into abilities.” ( Carol Dweck dans “Changer d’état d’esprit”)

Students have to dig down to find strength, to face challenges and to keep growing.

Taking part to Mathematics Olympiads is an opportunity for students to use the hard problems to sharpen their skills, so that when they return to the easier ones, they are way ahead…

Venez nombreux encore à la prochaine édition!

B. Laduron

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