Students tally up a math win
Local students won four gold and two bronze medals at this year’s International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Cape Town, South Africa, placing third overall, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. It was the nation’s best performance in 22 years at the annual mathematics competition for high-school students, the ministry said. In the individual category, Wu Po-sheng (吳博生) of Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School had a perfect score to tie for first with two other students, one from China and the other from Australia, the ministry said. Wu’s interest in math became evident in kindergarten, when he began asking his teachers to quiz him in the subject, his mother said. The Taiwanese team comprised six students selected and trained by a group of more than 10 teachers, including Fuh Cheng-der (傅承德), a professor at National Central University’s Graduate Institute of Statistics. The IMO, a problem-solving contest for high-school students, is usually held in a different nation each year in July. This year, 103 countries are participating in the competition that ran from July 3 to today.
World Cup fuels lottery
The Taiwan Sports Lottery has generated NT$1.8 billion (US$60.06 million) in sales so far from the ongoing FIFA World Cup, the company said on Friday. The lottery’s total sales from World Cup bets are likely to reach NT$2.2 billion, 2.7 times more than during the previous tournament four years ago, it said. Thursday’s semi-final between Argentina and the Netherlands alone brought in NT$170 million, the highest amount generated by a single game so far, it said, adding that sales were likely to explode over the weekend as fans gear up for the Germany-Argentina final today.
Chow to lead orchestra tour
First lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) and the Taipei Sinfonietta are to depart today on a performance tour of Finland and the Baltic states to celebrate the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Taipei Sinfonietta and Philharmonic Orchestra. The Taipei Sinfonietta is to perform in Estonia on Tuesday and in Latvia and Finland from Wednesday to Friday. The repertoire is to cover classical and contemporary works, including Mozart’s piano concertos and works by musicians from Taiwan and northern Europe, the orchestra’s spokesman said, adding that this is the eighth year that the orchestra has been invited to perform in Europe and the first time it will be led there by the first lady. Founded in 1985, the orchestra developed under the baton of US conductor Henry Mazer, who was its musical director for 17 years until his death in 2002.
Rammasun may bring rain
Tropical Storm Rammasun, which formed yesterday east of the Philippines, is expected to start affecting Taiwan on Wednesday, the Central Weather Bureau said. As of 2 pm yesterday, the storm was about 2,500km east-southeast of the nation’s southernmost tip, Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), moving westward at 20kph, the bureau said. The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 64.8kph, with gusts of up to 90kph, the bureau said. Rammasun means “god of thunder” in Thai. Earlier this month, the bureau said that three to five tropical storms or typhoons could strike the nation in the coming months, while up to 32 storms could form in the northwestern Pacific. As of the end of last month, seven storms had formed in the region this year, exceeding the average of 4.3 seen over the past years, the bureau said.