Xu sisters to do the math on world stage

With the International Day of Mathematics celebrated on March 14, it's fitting that two students will soon take on the world. Sophie Winton reports.

Image: Baulkham Hills High School's Cloris and Iris Xu with teacher Jason Ribbans.

Baulkham Hills High twin sisters are set to represent Australia in the 2022 European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO), an international maths competition thought to be the largest of its type for girls across the globe.

Cloris and Iris Xu have been selected to compete this April in the 2022 EGMO in Eger, Hungary. Around 60 nations will take part in the internationally- renowned maths competition, with teams comprised of four female students from each country.

The Xu sisters have a keen eye for problem-solving.

The twins have been broadly recognised for mathematical excellence by the Australian Mathematical Olympiad Committee (AMOC) throughout their high school careers, with both invited to take part in the 2020 AMOC School of Excellence and the 2021 AMOC IMO Selection School.

According to Cloris, her past achievements in maths only serve to motivate and inspire her to do better.

“EGMO is a great opportunity for girls who like problem-solving and mathematics”, says Cloris.

“We not only get a chance to compete against the best problem-solvers across the globe but also share ideas and make friends with others who have similar interests to us.”

While Cloris has yet to make up her mind about what she would like to pursue as a career, she knows “it will almost certainly be connected to maths”.

“There are indeed a number of current problems that I wish to tackle with maths, like the exploration of outer space, and that might be the focus of my career," says Cloris.

Iris is also keeping her options open.

She is currently happy learning subjects where maths can be applied while “developing a deeper understanding of the world of mathematics.”

“I'm grateful for the opportunity to represent Australia at the EGMO, and I will do my best in the contest to compete with the finest problem solvers from other countries”, says Iris.

“Mathematics plays an essential role in our daily life for creating countless technologies, and inventions that help us to live life easier. I would like to continue my effort in learning maths and improving my skills in problem-solving so I can then apply it to everyday life in the future.”

Jason Ribbans, Head Mathematics Teacher at Baulkham High School, says the twins are extremely hardworking and certainly live up to the school’s motto of "Persevere".

“Since arriving at the school, the girls have demonstrated excellence in their study of mathematics,” says Mr Ribbans.

“Both Cloris and Iris enjoy a challenge and thoroughly deserve this opportunity. As a school community, we could not be prouder of their effort and achievements.”

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