Sri Lankan Mathematical Olympiad Award ceremony is a big event that held yearly to appreciate the talents of school children who are dispersed in countrywide with great Mathematical knowledge. This Sri Lankan Mathematical Olympiad Award ceremony for years 2014/2015 is going to be held on 24th of October 2015 in University of Colombo. So we got a chance to talk about this upcoming event with the senior lecturer Dr. Dayal Dharmasena who is a director of Sri Lankan Olympiad Mathematics foundation and the Senior Treasurer of Epsilon-Delta society in Department of Mathematics of University of Colombo.
Q1. Sir first of all I would like to know what is this event and how does it all began?
Right…. This is Sri Lankan Mathematical Olympiad Award ceremony for years 2104/2015. And this event is a part of the annual programme of Sri Lanka Olympiad Mathematics foundation. It is a non-profit volunteer organization based in the Department of Mathematics, University of Colombo founded in 2004. The main activity of this organization is to popularize mathematics among the school children and to popularize mathematical problem solving competitions.
Q2. What is the main purpose of organizing this event?
Sri Lankan Mathematics Olympiad foundation conducts two competitions. The first competition is “Sri Lankan Mathematics competition.” This is an island wide competition and usually around three thousand school students participate in this competition. From that we select 45 students who perform well to the next stage “Sri Lankan Mathematics Challenge Competition.” The purpose of this event is to appreciate the performances of the students who did well in these competitions as well as their performances in Asian Pacific Mathematics Olympiad and International Mathematical Olympiad.
Q3. Sir how these awards are categorized?
Well…. Mainly we appreciate the best performances in “Sri Lankan Mathematics Competition” by awarding Higher Distinction Certificates to the top 5% students who performed exceptionally. The next 5% will be awarded Distinction certificates. The best six students in the Sri Lankan Mathematics Challenge Competition will receive gold, silver and bronze medals of Sri Lankan Mathematical Olympiad. And in addition to that we will appreciate the performances in “Asia Pacific Mathematics Olympiad” and “International Mathematical Olympiad”.
Q4. Are there any students who received awards in “Asian Pacific Mathematics Olympiad” and “International Mathematical Olympiad” this Year?
Yes one student won a bronze award and four students won honorable mentions in Asian Pacific Mathematics Olympiad. In International Mathematical Olympiad four students received honorable mentions.
Q5. Sir I hope I am right if I say that this award ceremony will be a colourful event?
Yes definitely. But not with dances and songs. Dr. Avantha Kodithuwakku, the national coordinator of the SLOMF and a senior lecturer of Department of Mathematics will deliver a lecture to motivate students to study mathematics beyond the school level and a new magazine named “Omega Plus One” published by the Epsilon Delta society will be launched.
Q6.Sir I would like to know about the crew who are behind this event?
Yes. Actually a major part of this event was done by the Epsilon-Delta Society of University of Colombo. They play a major role from organizing everything from the competitions to this award ceremony. I believe Sri Lankan Mathematical Olympiad is the only national mathematical Olympiad in the world, a major part of which is organized by the university students.
Q7. Sir we know that every moment in our life we meet obstacles. What were the obstacles you met and how did you overcome them?
Well the main obstacle we met was funding. As we are a volunteer organization funding was the biggest obstacle. The only way of funding is the examination fees paid by the students. However we managed to organize this event with the limited funding available.
Q8. Sir when and where will this ceremony be held?
Saturday the 24th at the KG hall.
Q9. Who will be the honourable guests participating this event?
The chief guest will be the Vice Chancellor of University of Colombo Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake and and the guest of honour will be Mr. W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara Commissioner General of Examinations.
Q10. Sir who should be thanked for organizing such an event?
As I said before Epsilon Delta society played a main role in organizing this event. And all those who helped even in a word should be thanked.