1st CASPAM REGIONAL STUDENT OLYMPIAD OF MATHEMATICS (CRSOM-1)
12th MARCH 2014
CENTRE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES IN PURE AND APPLIED AMTHEMATICS (CASPAM)
BAHAUDDIN ZAKARIYA UNIVERSITY (BZU), MULTAN 60800, PAKISTAN
Every year a lot of youngsters with great mathematical aptitude get admission in BS and MSc Mathematics programmes at various universities and postgraduate colleges. Besides the formal schooling and examinations, there could be other informal events which might significantly motivate the students to flourish in the subject and get appreciation, as well. Olympiad of the subject and other competitions are famous for such purposes. However, occurrences of such competitions are not so common; rather they are held rarely in Pakistan.
In March 2014, Centre for Advanced Studies in Pure and Applied Mathematics (CASPAM) took an initiative and demonstrated to be able to organize "1st CASPAM Regional Student Mathematical Olympiad (CRSOM-1)" in collaboration with National Mathematical Society of Pakistan. The CRSOM-1 was an event which was 1st of its kind arranged for the BS and MSc students of universities and postgraduate colleges of the southern part of the province Punjab. The aim was to promote the learning of mathematics in this region. The competitions were intended to assess the basic degree level mathematical knowledge and skills of the students (with topics from CALCULUS 50%, ALGEBRA 25% and miscellaneous areas 25%). The competitions were designed not only to test the individual capabilities but also the capability to excel in a team. A commendable figure of over 650 participants from Multan, Sargodha, Sahiwal, D.G.Khan, Borewala, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan & Layyah formed a gathering of high intellect. The event was a cluster of great minds, dignified personalities, excited youngsters, who came up with passion and excitement of expression of mathematical knowledge taken as a challenge.
The event of the CRSOM-1 started with Game 1 at 0900 PST. The Game 1 conducted for 391 individual contestants comprising 25 multiple choice questions (MCQs), lasted for 50 minutes. Based on their performance in Game 1, top 26 contestants proceeded to the Single's Championship: Game 2. Game 2 was a problem solving test. It was a harder challenge requiring a rigorous approach containing 5 questions from the subjects of Calculus, Algebra, Differential Equations, Analytical Geometry and Numerical Methods out of which two questions were required to be attempted in just 30 minutes. Based on the evaluations, 3 contestants were selected for the Gold, Silver and Bronze in Single's Championship, which had the reason to feel pleased. The faculty members and student volunteers (from MPhil and PhD classes) of CASPAM formed a team of examiners for both the Game 1 and Game 2. Meanwhile the top 26 contestants were busy in Game 2, Marathon: Game 3 was started in parallel to Game 2 in the main hall. Game 3 was an open house game like a gala for all the audience with on-spot prizes.
Then, after the lunch break, came up the Team's Championship: Game 4. Initially, a screening test of 15 minutes comprising 15 MCQs was conducted among 36 teams (having 4 members each). Shortly after this had finished, 8 teams were chosen for the Final matches of Game 4 to be conducted on stage. After quarter finals, semi-finals and finals 3 teams selected for the three medals.
The Olympiad, in a true sense, provided a great opportunity to the students to express their courage and grip on the subject and to know what they are capable of. The students received the certificates, cash prizes & medals but perhaps the biggest winner was the subject of Mathematics. It was decided by CASPAM that such a very unique and prestigious academic event would be conducted every year.