UNIZULU Student to Participate in Upcoming Maths Olympiad

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UNIZULU Student to Participate in Upcoming Maths Olympiad

UNIZULU Student to Participate in Upcoming Maths Olympiad

Sphephelo Sthembelo Buthelezi, a University of Zululand (UNIZULU) student who is pursuing a BSc in Applied Mathematics, has been chosen to compete in the SA Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO), a national mathematics competition which seeks to produce a generation of globally competitive problem solvers fit for this technological age.

The olympiad is a project of the South African Mathematics Foundation which facilitates the efficient administration, coordination, and progress of mathematics in South Africa. The annual competition comprises three rounds with multiple choice questions, with the selection based on exam scores. This year’s olympiad will take place at the University of Stellenbosch from 10 – 12 December 2023.

Ulundi-born Buthelezi, who will be flying the UNIZULU flag high, feels privileged as he was the only UNIZULU student to qualify for the next round. The maths test was written across all the universities in South Africa. He ranked 19 nationally, second among KZN universities and first at UNIZULU.

Buthelezi was introduced to SAMO by Professor Syamala Krishnannair, one of his lecturers in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. When he was selected to participate in the next round, the student admitted that he was initially in shock but thereafter felt happy to represent his university and province. He acknowledged, however, that he is nervous about what will happen during the olympiad.

Buthelezi’s Love for Maths

It was in high school that Buthelezi noticed his strong affinity for mathematics. When his mathematics teacher predicted that he would be one of his “A students”, Buthelezi’s love for the subject grew.

“All of that motivation just made me love maths even more. Maths is a complex subject. When people think it’s hard, that also contributes to me liking it even more. I can say I enjoy solving problems in maths. That process when you have to use some algorithms, laws, and simple logic, makes maths more fun. Challenging equations may be the ones that bring more fun in mathematics,” Buthelezi said.

  • Pamela Mlaba