Mathematicians excel at international competition

Those who excelled at the 2023 IMC from left, are siblings Danielle and Benjamin Kleyn SU students; Callan Kotzen, team leader; Professor John Jayne, IMC organiser University College London; Kerry Porrill SU student; Caleb de’Nation University of Pretoria student; and SU student Jean Weight.

South African students recently competed in the International Mathematics Competition (IMC) held in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, from Monday July 31 until Sunday August 6.

The South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) selected top-performing students from the 2022 Standard Bank South African Tertiary Mathematics Olympiad (SATMO), to participate in the competition. They were the only South African students and showcased their talent and commitment by securing a 34th position out of 71 teams.

The team’s performance saw them bringing home a gold medal, two bronze medals, and two honourable mentions. This achievement emphasises South Africa’s mathematical talent and the rigorous preparation and dedication required to face tough competition.

The team consisted of Jean Weight, Stellenbosch University, Gold Medal; Benjamin Kleyn, Stellenbosch University, Bronze Medal; Kerry Porrill, Stellenbosch University, Bronze medal; Danielle Kleyn, Stellenbosch University, Honourable Mention;Caleb de’Nation, University of Pretoria, Honourable Mention.

Professor Kerstin Jordaan, the Executive Director at SAMF, shared her thoughts on the team’s performance: “We are immensely proud of our team’s accomplishments at the International Mathematics Competition. Through the support of Standard Bank, which sponsored the team’s expenses, we aim to empower our students to excel on the global stage.”

The IMC provides a platform for students to challenge themselves and offers opportunities to form lifelong friendships with fellow mathematicians globally. Additionally, it serves as a gateway for participants to explore multinational employment prospects, as mathematical expertise continues to be a sought-after skill in various industries.

As we celebrate SAMF’s achievements at the IMC, we underscore the power of education, collaboration, and international camaraderie. The foundation and its sponsors’ commitment to nurturing young mathematical minds is paving the way for a brighter future for students and the field of mathematics.

The 2023 Standard Bank South African Tertiary Mathematics Olympiad took place on Saturday August 19. Read more about the SATMO at