Chinese mathematicians are the best in the world. Since 1999, China has consistently topped the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO). This is no surprise since China has developed its mathematics independent of Greece and the western civilizations. For example, China has been using the concept of the decimal system since time immemorial. Mathematics is used in ancient China in various applications such as flood forecasting, astronomy, surveying, etc. I would venture to say that mathematics is naturally embedded in the Chinese mind.

The following table shows China’s total dominance of the IMO:

Table 1. China’s rank at the International Mathematics Olympiads: 1999-2008

Many of the topnotch contestants of other countries are also of Chinese descent. This shows that the world has come to realize that Mathematics is the realm of the Chinese.

Even here in the Philippines, Filipinos with Chinese descent show excellence in Mathematics. They are admired for their genius and love for Mathematics. The Philippines was put in the limelight of the world of Mathematics through the efforts of Dr. Simon L.Chua, a Filipino with Chinese roots. He is the first Filipino to receive the International Paul Erdos Award in 2006 for leading in the development of mathematical challenges in the Philippines. He is the president of the Mathematics Trainers' Guild (MTG), an organization that trains talented young Filipinos in Mathematics. Through the leadership of Dr. Chua, the MTG with its dedicated officers, sent these young Filipino Math wizards to international competitions and has won numerous awards and medals.

What is the secret of the excellence of the Chinese in mathematics? It is an enigma. They are simply very good with numbers.

## Thursday, March 26, 2009

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