Sunday, July 03, 2011

Filipino math expert receives BH Neumann Award in Australia

Dr. Simon Chua (center) receives the BH Neumann Award from Australian Mathematics Trust officials Dr. Peter Taylor (left), executive director, and Warren Atkins (right), chairman of the Australian Mathematics Competition Problems Committee. (Photo courtesy of the Australian Mathematics Trust).

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 3, 2011) - A Filipino math expert received the prestigious BH Neumann Award in Australia for his efforts in training young Filipino math wizards for international competitions.

Dr. Simon Chua, president and co-founder of the Mathematics Trainers Guild-Philippines (MTG), received the award from the Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT) in a ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Alice Springs in Northern Territory, Australia, on July 2.

Chua is the first Filipino to get the BH Neumann Award, named in honor of the late Professor Bernhard H. Neumann, a British mathematician who “provided outstanding leadership, support and encouragement for mathematics and the teaching of mathematics at all levels” in Australia.

“This award represents the hard work of the Mathematics Trainers Guild in the last 15 years to hone Filipino students and uplift the quality of math education in the country,” Chua said.

The Australian Mathematics Trust said the BH Neumann Awards “are presented each year for important contributions over many years to the enrichment of mathematics learning in Australia and its region”.

The Philippines, through the MTG, participates yearly in the Australian Mathematics Competition. The competition is also organized by the AMT.

“Fifteen years ago, Dr. Chua founded the Mathematics Trainers Guild (in the Philippines). This is an organization similar to AMT and it has flourished. For 10 years Simon has been the AMC Director for the Philippines and entries have grown each year. Simon also promotes a number of other good quality events from other countries and is co-director of the World Youth Olympiad, which is for students up to Year 9,” the AMT said.

Since 1995, the MTG has been training and sending Filipino students to international math competitions in various countries like the United States, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand.

As a result, MTG-trained students have won scores of medals abroad, becoming the country’s pride in mathematics.

The BH Neumann Award is Chua’s second international award. He was also the first Filipino to receive the Paul Erdos Award in mathematics in 2006 given by the World Federation of National Mathematics Competitions.

Besides Chua, other BH Neumann awardees this year are Jane Breidahl and Gary Carter, both Australians.

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