"Leading Zeros" Win 2017 HHL MPI Leibniz Mathematical Olympiad
Great joy for the pupils Karl Hellig, Margarete Ketelsen and Sebastian Meyer from Martin-Andersen-Nexö-Gymnasium in Dresden. On June 21, 2017, the winners of the 2017 HHL MPI Leibniz Mathematical Olympiad, whose team was called "Leading Zeros", were awarded EUR 1,500 in prize money sponsored by the HHL Alumni Association as well as a gift certificate for a science tour of the Max Planck Institute (MPI) and the Leibniz Institute of Tropospheric Research. Second place, which comes with EUR 900 in prize money, went to a team of three from Wilhelm-Ostwald-Gymnasium in Leipzig. A team of pupils from Sächsisches Landesgymnasium Sankt Afra in Meißen won third place and EUR 600 in prize money, which, just like second place, was sponsored by KARL-KOLLE-Stiftung. The awards ceremony was held on the birthday of polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the event's namesake, at the Leibniz Monument in the courtyard of the University of Leipzig. In his speech, Volker Rodekamp, the Director of the Museum of City History, highlighted Leibniz' role in Leipzig and his connection to the university. Linguist Prof. Dr. Stefan Gries then offered an introduction into the work of the current Leibniz Professor of the University of Leipzig.
HHL's Prof. Dr. André Casajus, who is a co-initiator of the Mathematical Olympiad, commented, "With this math competition, which has taken place for the second time already, we would like to inspire pupils to work with mathematical problems. At the same time, the event should bridge the gap from Math into a Management education." Prof. Dr. Casajus continued, "Mathematicians are analytically gifted, have abstract thinking, quickly recognize connection and look for perfection." This perfection of finding at least one elegant approach to solving the functional equations was required from the participants of the 2017 HHL MPI Leibniz Mathematical Olympiad. Nine teams of students from Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt competed on May 20, 2017.
Karl Hellig, Margarete Ketelsen and Sebastian Meyer from the winning team of Martin-Andersen-Nexö-Gymnasium in Dresden attend a special advanced course in mathematics, participate in math competitions together and are very good friends way beyond the subject. Margarete Ketelsen felt the approach to the math problems of the HHL MPI Leibniz Mathematical Olympiad was "completely different" as the equations needed to be solved by a team and not individually like usual. She was glad to receive the monetary reward sponsored by the HHL Alumni Association, commenting, "I want to start studying Mathematics soon. I will make good use of the money for this." Her teammate Karl Hellig has different plans: He wants to use the money for his next vacation or save it.
The 2017 HHL MPI Leibniz Mathematical Olympiad under the patronage of the Mayor of the City of Leipzig, Burkhard Jung (Social Democratic Party) were supported by the HHL Alumni Association, KARL-KOLLE-Stiftung, the Saxon Education Agency as well as the State Education Authority of Saxony-Anhalt.
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