The search for the next Ramanujan- Mathematics Contest for High School Students conducted by CFAL
Mangaluru: When the famous mathematician Paul Erdős interviewed another mathematician, G.H.Hardy, Erdős asked Hardy what his greatest contribution to mathematics was, to which Hardy unhesitatingly replied that it was the discovery of Ramanujan.
Ramanujan is India’s iconic genius who made deep contributions to mathematics despite his humble beginnings. G.H.Hardy nurtured Ramanujan’s ability by introducing him to interesting and deep problems. Paul Erdos’ talents were discovered in Hungary by a mathematical competition called KoMal which still runs to this day. Paul Erdos, the interviewer, much like Hardy, believed in introducing profound mathematical puzzles to talented young minds. Over the past few decades, he has influenced thousands of computer scientists and mathematicians alike.
The IMO and AMTI exam are probably the extracurricular math programs with the widest participation. The most immediate value of these math contests is obvious – they pique students’ interest in mathematics and encourage them to value intellectual pursuits. Kids love games, and many will turn just about any activity into a contest, or in other words, something to get good at. Math contests thus inspire them to become good at mathematics just like sports encourage physical fitness. Eventually, students put aside the games and get serious about the subject by turning their passion into successful careers that serve our community.
Karnataka is known to be a region which values education deeply and this region performs well in board exams and tests pertaining to the standard school curriculum. However, our students have rarely represented India in International Mathematical Olympiad. There is no doubt that there are students from this area who are gifted at mathematics. The only reason for this disconnect is the lack of awareness and support. The object of this article is rectifying the lack of awareness and the object of the contest is to rectify the lack of support. This contest aims to find the talented mathematicians in your houses. It aims to give them puzzles that are more challenging than school standards. If the talented kids from Mangalore spend time with problems that are worthy of their skills, they will grow to be capable thinkers. With time, they will hone their skills to easily solve problems from International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), AMTI exam, JEE or the KVPY exam.
Winners of Last year’s Ramanujan Contest
Beyond encouraging an interest in mathematics, contests help prepares students for competition. For better or worse, much of life is competition, be it for jobs or resources or whatever. Competition of any sort trains students to deal with success and failure and teaches them that effective performance requires practice. Moreover, nearly every interesting and worthwhile venture in life comes with some element of pressure; competition teaches students how to handle it. CFAL has been conducting the Ramanujan Contest for the last several years, and students who have participated in it have been able to go to the National level in the NMTC exams, clear the RMO and various other scholarship exams like KVPY and NTSE.
These exams are for two hours, and they are conducted on the last Sunday of each month. The test comprises of 10 tests which will be conducted on the last Sunday of the month. Every month students will be asked to attempt through though proving Puzzles. The cumulative points of these tests determine the award. The registration fees for students is 300 rupees, and its free for students of government schools. This fee is refunded to students who write all these tests. There is more than 50,000 in awards given to the winners of this competition, and government schools students who win any award at the competition are given scholarships seat at CFAL.
Test Dates 2017 – 2018 : (First Test was conducted on Sunday, 25 June) July 30; Aug 27; Sept 24; Oct 29; Nov 26; Dec 31; Jan 28-2018; Feb 25-2018; Mar 25-2018
The various awards are:
The Ramanujan Award
This award is presented to the best overall performer of the year. The award is given to encourage all round excellence, consistency and the capacity for deep thought that is important to become a scientist/mathematician. The Ramanujan awardee will also receive a Kindle and books worth Rs. 10,000/- The Ramanujan awardee, if studying in a govt. school will receive a scholarship from CFAL.
The Harish Chandra Award
This award is presented to the deep thinker of the year. This award is given to encourage creativity required for solving difficult problems and novelty that is demanded for nonstandard problems. Two students will be awarded books worth 10,000 rupees. The Harish Chandra awardees, if studying in a govt. School will receive a scholarship from CFAL.
The Bhaskara Award
This award is presented to the most consistent performer of the year. This award is given to encourage consistency required for scientific thinking and persistence that is characteristic of research. Two students will be awarded books worth 10,000 rupees. The Bhaskara awardees, if studying in a govt. School will receive a scholarship from CFAL.
The award is given to encourage participation and to appreciate the virtue of thinking for at least two hours. All the students who attend 80% of the tests shall be given books worth 600/-
Ramanujan was a genius well ahead of his time, who lived only for 33 years. He had no formal higher education yet his inexhaustible spirit and love for his subject made him contribute to the treasure houses of mathematical research — some of which were still under serious study. Ramanujan was a unique Indian genius who could melt the heart of the most hardened and outstanding Cambridge mathematician, Prof. G.H. Hardy.
Though he flunked out of college twice, Ramanujan did mathematical research independently while working as a clerk in an accountant’s office. He sent his results to the most prominent mathematicians in the world, most of whom ignored the work. G.H. Hardy, a professor at Cambridge University, was intrigued, though, and invited the unknown Ramanujan to come work with him in England in the midst of the First World War.
“In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that it was Prof. Hardy who discovered Ramanujan for the world. Professor Hardy had rated various geniuses on a scale of 100. While most of the mathematicians got a rating of around 30 with rare exceptions reaching 60, Ramanujan got a rating of 100. There cannot be any better tribute to either Ramanujan or to Indian heritage.
CFAL is located in Bejai- Kapikad, Mangalore.
Contact Information: 9845737120 / 9740939374, www.cfalindia.com