Mathematically tired

Wait…I was hot on the problems and the Romanian Masters of Mathematics (2016) : Problem 5 and problem 1 are both geometry. Despite having the former substantially harder than the latter, I had a quick solve on the former, comparatively. Then I searched for the geometry problems I have done, ranging from our Junior Olympiad to the IMO, just to regain my feel for them. Reason? I would be presenting a geometry lecture in the IMO camp on 5th March.

Which means I had to prepare handout.

I rushed myself to complete the notes that encompassed enlargement, harmonic bundles, poles and polars, some examples of applications and practice problems. In the meantime I did first round of checking for a confidential project, and coded on Ideone using C++ language (oops I’m still a beginner and am still struggling with stacks). The camp came on 4th March, and I forced my eyes open till 4am on that night with Yi Kye and Mr. Suhaimi for the final check on that project. Then lecture delivering on the next morning! With only 3.5 hours of sleep, I should consider myself unlocking an achievement. 😀

Here went the rest of the camp, having need to stay up later than the students did to finish marking the test papers and wake up early in the morning. By the time the camp ended on 8th, I felt the strong urge from my body to ask for more sleep and slumped into slumber on my way back.

What moved me to facilitate the camp? First of all, math. It was impossible to spend the moment I went through during the IMO camps in 2011-2014 again, and all those memories have been ingrained deeply in my heart. The struggles when confronted my problems, competition between me and the time while solving problems, and the sudden enlightenment upon reading solutions…I really missed that moments. If not these, what else could explain my penchant for occupying myself with problems from the Internet, from the camp assignments and from the tests, even I’m not a participant of the camp? (I actually got my hands dirty on the APMO problems when the contest was running, as an invigilator :P)

The people there delighted me further: looking at them discussing problems made me reminisce the times when I ardently talked maths with Justin, Si Yu, and many more during my IMO times. Although the conversations were closely related to ‘templates’ like: “the problem looks so easy/so hard”, “direct bashing using xxx theorem!”, “this problem trolls!”, they were enough to recall my past memory for me to long for it.

The meeting with the past Malaysian IMO committee members like Prof. Arsmah, Prof. Daud, Prof. Jamal and Ms. Jamilah  during a dinner in Shah Alam added  excitement to the camp experience, although it means travelling back and forth for 3 hours in total (Ms. Masita couldn’t make it to the gathering, but I managed to contact her via Whatsapp). Not much chatting, but it was just too wonderful to see them again. Not forgetting other trainers like Dr. Tan and Zhi Kin, where each talked about research at Cambridge and teaching maths to children. It was just too exciting to meet all of them.

The camp has ended, and I’m going back to normal daily schedule. But the (extended) memories will last!

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