Inspired by her sister’s love of mathematics, this Nazi student wins gold in a national competition
A Nova Scotia student celebrates after winning gold in a national math competition last month.
Ana Mihai, an 8th grader at Georges P. Vanier Junior High School in Fall River, NS, competed in last fall’s Canada Jay Mathematical Competition.
The annual online competition, hosted by the Canadian Mathematical Society, is open to elementary through 8th grade students, with questions based on the syllabus for grades 5-8.
Ana was one of 60 students across Canada to achieve a perfect score from the nearly 4,000 participants.
She found out she had won gold during a math class in January. Her teacher gave out certificates of participation to students who entered the competition, but she was given two certificates.
“One of them was the certificate of participation that everyone got and the other was saying I got the Gold Award in Canada,” Ana told CBC radio Information morning Nova Scotia on Thursday.
Ana said this was a satisfying moment after practicing for hours every week for the past year.
“I went to my friends house and I was so excited, like, ‘Wow, I have two certificates … and this one, this one is pretty good.'”
Inspired by the older sister
Ana said that although she’s good at math, she actually doesn’t like it. She likes aspects of it like geometry and logic.
“I think that if anyone really gets into some specific area of math, they can find a part that they really connect with,” she said.
Ana said she was actually inspired by her older sister Maria Mihai to give math a chance, which also excels in the subject.
Maria, a 10th grade student at Lockview High School in Fall River, said she always tried to be a good role model for her young sister.
“Honestly I’m inspired by her and she’s so young and it’s really nice to see her growing up like me,” Maria said Thursday.
“She has this really good work ethic and that makes me really proud of her.”
Maria has also recently received good news from the world of mathematics.
She has been invited to the Canadian Mathematical Olympiad, the country’s “first national advanced mathematics competition,” which will be held next month.
Maria said she was thrilled when she received the invitation, which is only open to 80 students in Canada.
“I started very young and did pretty badly, and honestly that’s kind of progress towards my dream,” she said.
Maria said she hopes to advance to the European Mathematical Olympiad for Girls before she graduates. Then she wants to study mathematics.
When it comes to the subject, the sisters view their relationship as a friendly rivalry.
Still, they celebrate each other’s victories.
“We are a family and we are happy when the other does well and we are sad when the other does poorly. It’s really more like teamwork,” Maria said.
advice for others
The sisters, though differing in their love of mathematics, said that anyone can excel in the subject if they put their mind to it.
“It might seem like it’s going to take a long time to actually get anywhere, but I promise it will eventually happen,” Ana said.
“It’s going to be like seeing how much progress you’ve made and it’s going to be amazing.”
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