No rest for bright young minds

The South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) is hosting its annual Mathematical Camp at the University of Stellenbosch from the 6th till the 11th of December 2015. Learners with potential who have been identified in the 2015 South African Mathematics Olympiad and other SAMF Olympiad programmes have been invited to the annual camp.

The SAMO is mainly used to identify talent.  The next step is to develop the talent through Olympiad training programmes. The Siyanqoba Regional Olympiad Training Programme organised by SAMF and sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) plays an important role to develop skills and knowledge on an on-going base. Bi-weekly classes for grades 7 to 12 learners take place at 10 training centres across the country. The Siyanqoba programme tries to increase the participation of black learners in mathematics competitions and this year 61% of all learners who attended classes were black.

The beginner class at the SAMF math Camp.
The beginner class at the SAMF math Camp.

Arthur Qampi, one of South Africa’s bright young minds, has been attending the Siyanqoba class at the University of Kwazulu Natal since 2012 and has reaped the rewards for ongoing commitment and hard work. The grade 11 learner from Star College has participated in numerous mathematical Olympiads over the past four years which have helped him improve his critical thinking skills and formulated thinking. “Attending mathematics camps has helped me improve my classroom mathematics by learning topics before we cover them,” explains Arthur.

Arthur was part of the South Africa team to the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO) this year and won a bronze medal.  He says the experience has enabled him to getting a different vibe of Africa. His advice to other learners who will be joining the beginner level at this year’s camp is to work hard, because it will enable learners to achieve success. “They need to have a great passion for mathematics, which is exciting and very challenging. They also need to learn things on their own,” says the excited Arthur.

Dr Dirk Basson, camp leader from the University of Stellenbosch believes that the annual camp equips learners with advanced mathematical skills. “The University of Stellenbosch is hosting the mathematical camp for the 24th consecutive time and this reflects upon the continued dedication by both organisations in making quality mathematics accessible to learners,” explains Dr Basson.


The intemediate colass
The intemediate class

The camp is stimulating, challenging and enjoyable. It  compromises of lectures, tests and other mathematical activities and  will be the first step in the selection of teams to represent South African in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) and Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO) for 2016. A total of 62 learners are divided into 3 groups:  beginner, intermediate and senior .The main emphasis of the December camp will be on solving interesting and unusual mathematical problems.

Registration for the 2016 SAMO opens in January. For more information please call the SAMF office at 012 392 9362 or send an e-mail to

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