PH bags 1st silver in Asian-Pacific Math Olympiad

Posted at 07/06/2012 12:08 PM | Updated as of 07/06/2012 3:35 PM
Henry Jefferson Morco (second from left) with the two other winners of the 14th Philippine Mathematical Olympiad and Science Education Institute Director Dr. Filma Brawner. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino high school student bagged the silver medal at the prestigious Asian-Pacific Math Olympiad (APMO), a first for the country.

Henry Jefferson Morco of Chiang Kai Shek College scored 23 points in the APMO, a correspondence-type competition held last March 13.

Morco was only a point shy of winning the gold medal, which required a minimum of 24 points. A silver medal demanded at least 18 points, while a bronze medal required 12 points.

Kenneth Co of Philippine Science High School – Diliman scored 16 points to win the bronze medal.

Adrian Reginald Sy, Mikaela Angelina Uy, Camille Tyrene Dee and John Thomas Chuatak, meanwhile, won honorable mentions.

Dr. Filma Brawner, director of the Science Education Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, congratulated Morco, Co and the others on their achievement.

“I congratulate all our students who represented us, especially Henry and Kenneth, for winning silver and bronze medals, respectively,” Brawner said in a statement. “This is what we emphasize when we support our students in these kinds of competitions – that Filipinos are winners.”

Last year, Morco and Amiel Sy of PSHS won two bronze medals in last year’s APMO. The Philippines has been bringing home bronze medals since 2008.

Difficult contest

The APMO, which started in 1989, aims to discover math geniuses in Pacific Rim countries. Here, students are presented with five difficult math questions, giving them four hours to solve each problem.

Each question carried a maximum of seven points.

This year, the Philippines scored a total of 97 points, ranking 20th out of 37 participating countries. South Korea topped the APMO once again, followed by the United States, Thailand, Russia and Japan.

“This competition is very difficult and hence, for our students to win some medals is commendable,” Brawner said. “We hope that this inspires our future delegates to strive more in coming competitions.”

Morco and the other winners in this year’s APMO will represent the country in the upcoming International Mathematics Olympiad, which will be held from July 14 to 16 in Mar de Plata, Argentina.

“We hope that our students consider this victory and experience as a whole as their calling to be future leaders in the field of science and mathematics,” Brawner said.