The IMO is the largest and most prestigious of all of the international olympiads, having grown from the original seven countries to over a hundred. The United Kingdom has participated since 1967 and has played host to the competition on two previous occasions (in 1979 and 2002). We were honoured to be able to invite teams from all over the world to celebrate the diamond anniversary of the founding of IMO.
Bath is a world heritage city renowned for its hot springs, Roman history and Georgian architecture. It was the home of the famous mathematician Adelard (his translations of Arabic texts on mathematics introduced the Hindu-Arabic numeral system to Europe). Contestants will be based at the University of Bath for the duration of IMO 2019. The university campus is situated on a hill above Bath, providing stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside. Contestants will be well looked after, with the dining room, recreational areas and the exam hall all within walking distance of the accommodation.
Members of the Jury were initially be located a short hop across the Severn Bridge in Wales. Wales is the birthplace of the equals sign. First used in a published text in 1557, Robert Recorde coined the use of a parallel pair of horizontal line segments to replace the phrase ‘is equal to’. Mathematicians, scientists, engineers and schoolchildren have collectively saved many billions of hours of time in the years that have followed, for which we are all grateful.
The competition involved teams of up to six contestants sitting two exams on consecutive days. Each exam lasts 4.5 hours and contained three hard problems. Contestants’ scripts were marked over the next few days with each solution (or attempt) being awarded a score out of seven. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded just less than half of the contestants in the ratio 1:2:3. Those not within the medal boundaries, but achieving full marks on at least one problem, were awarded an Honourable Mention.
This unique event brought together the brightest young minds from around the world and represented, for them, the culmination of many years of mathematical endeavour and hundreds of attempts at solving problems. Our aim was to provide contestants with a comfortable environment so that they were be able to give of their best in the exams. We also wanted all participants to have opportunities to enjoy the company of like-minded young people from around the world and make memories and friendships that would last a lifetime.
Participation in the 60th anniversary celebrations extends beyond those able to attend the IMO. We are making resources available for our Diamond Maths Challenge, a team competition for younger participants. Details will be released soon.
IMO 2019 Results
The results of IMO2019 are available at:
IMO 2019 personnel
The IMO 2019 Problem Selection Committee:
Joseph Myers (Chair)
The IMO 2019 Coordinators:
Kaur Aare Saar
Peter Van Hintum
Volunteers at IMO 2019
WE FOUND LOTS OF BRILLIANT VOLUNTEERS TO WORK AT IMO 2019
This should be read in conjunction with the IMO 2019 policies on
Volunteers had to be at least 18 years old at the time of IMO 2019.
These policies are were once still under construction, but now can be borrowed and improved by future IMO host countries.
If you wish to register early interest as a volunteer, get a time machine and set it for early 2019, and then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with volunteer in the subject line. Please introduce yourself, explain your connection with maths or maths olympiads, and express a tentative interest in one or more of the categories of IMO2019 volunteer explained below. Keep it very short, because you may have to fill in a longer form later, and we don’t want you to duplicate your efforts unnecessarily.
While we welcome international volunteers, IMO 2019 is not able to provide financial support for international travel for volunteers. Also it is not able to assist with obtaining any necessary United Kingdom visas.
No mathematical background is needed for any of these roles. Any DBS checks which need to be made will be paid for by the IMO 2019 organization.
Each IMO team will have a team guide who will use their knowledge of how to function in the UK to make the IMO experience as pleasant as possible for their team and its leaders. In short, being a friendly face. Each country will bring a designated adult (usually the deputy leader) who is in loco parentis, so this is not the job of the team guide. The main functions of a team guide consist of giving advice, helping with language issues, transmitting information about arrangements from IMO2019 organizers to participants, and alerting IMO2019 organizers to any urgent problems which need to be resolved. Team guides must have a DBS check and provide references. There will be a Chief Guide who will set policy, and co-ordinate the team guides. Team guides will be resident at the University of Bath.
At previous IMOs, most team guides have been university students. Having foreign language skills (especially of languages less used in the UK) would be particularly useful (but guides who speak only English are also needed). It is important that Team Guides are responsible people, and that they actively enjoy the company of teenagers.
Team Guides must be available for training on 13th July and then resident (accommodation provided) at the University of Bath until 22nd July.
This task will involve working at the University of Bath.
Each IMO exam lasts 4 hours 30 minutes. A very large number of invigilators are needed in order to ensure the safe and secure sitting of the papers. Invigilators also facilitate communications between the IMO jury (Celtic Manor, Newport) and the exam site (the Sports Hall of the University of Bath). This will involve carrying and transmitting messages (questions of clarification etc), and scanning scripts. Some designated invigilators will have DBS checks (to assist students who are ill, and enter the designated exam toilet areas for security checks). There will be a Chief Invigilator who will co-ordinate and set policy for invigilators.
Monday July 15 is invigilator training day; Tuesday July 16 is contest day 1; Wednesday July 17 is contest day 2. The invigilation days will be long, and it will be an intense experience. However, it is a short commitment in terms of days, and vital to the successful functioning of IMO2019. At previous IMOs, invigilators have often been academics, schoolteachers or students. We are looking for enthusiastic, reliable and dedicated individuals who are determined to ensure fair play.
We will need a team of administrators to handle all sorts of IMO activities (including registering arrivals, handing out documents, supporting communications and computing, giving advice on local geography, facilities and services, and anything else which may arise). Administrative help will be needed both at the University of Bath, July 14-22 (with Sunday July 14th being peak activity (students’ arrival day), and at Celtic Manor, Newport July 10th-17th, with peak activity on July 11th (leaders’ arrival day). DBS checks will be required since administrators may have access to personal information.
Accommodation may be provided, dependent on circumstances
No mathematical background is needed.
A small team of energetic people are needed to facilitate the activities of the IMO jury. This is like a UN General Assembly. Microphone running (to facilitate speeches) is a key part of this role. Accommodation will be provided from Thursday 11th until Wednesday 17th at or near Celtic Manor Resort Hotel, Newport. No DBS check is needed. At previous IMOs, jury guides have often been students.
The IMO2019 opening ceremony will be in The Forum, a theatre in Bath on Monday 15th July. This will be a jovial affair, with a parade of the nations (many in national
costume), some entertainment, and as few speeches as possible. It is, however, vital that there is strict segregation between the jury site people (who have seen the exam papers), and University of Bath based people, who have not. Thus, as well as making the ceremony run smoothly, there is a policing aspect to crowd control. The closing ceremony will be at the University of Bath on Sunday 21st July. This is a more sober affair, with medals and presentations, and as few speeches as possible. Accommodation will be provided if necessary.
Transport (including a Director of Travel)
Coordinating meet and greet, both of team leaders (mainly on Thursday July 11) and students (mainly on Sunday July 14), and excursions (July 18,19). Accommodation will be provided as necessary. IMO 2019 has hired a coach company which will do a lot of the work, but we need IMO 2019 volunteers on hand to solve problems as they arise. This includes making sure that participants are met at points of entry to the UK, and their journies in the UK are as comfortable as possible. There is also the important matter of facilitating safe return journeys as participants leave the IMO on July 22nd.
People with design skills, typesetting skills, internet skills etc please make yourself known if you are prepared to volunteer to work in advance of IMO 2019.
Register an early interest (repeating the information at the top of this section)
If you wish to register early interest as a volunteer, send an email to email@example.com with volunteer in the subject line. Please introduce yourself, explain your connection with maths or maths olympiads, and express a tentative
interest in one or more of the categories of IMO2019 volunteer expained above. Keep it very short, because you may have to fill in a longer form later, and we don’t want you to duplicate your efforts unnecessarily.
Information for people needing a visa to attend IMO 2019:
You can apply for a British Visa up to 3 months before your travel to the UK. Therefore Visa applications for IMO 2019 should be initiated after the middle of April 2019.
- Detailed advice on how to apply for a British Visa is in the Invitation Letter which can be obtained by the person responsible for registering information at IMO official. IMO 2019 is working closely with the UK Visa and Immigration Service, and will share with UKVI the details of legitimate participants who need a British Visa.
- You may wish to plan ahead, and investigate online to see if you require a visa https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa and find your nearest UK Visa Application Centre (VAC) using https://www.gov.uk/find-a-visa-application-centre
- You can set up an online account before the three month threshold. For visa applications, regard IMO 2019 as an academic conference.
- The cost of a Standard Visitor Visa is (at the time of writing this) is £93 (that is denominated in pounds sterling).
- At the moment, we have no reason to suppose that these arrangements will be disrupted by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Should we become aware of any changes of procedure, we will inform you at this site.
- There are special provisions for children aged under 18 applying for a British Visa. These are explained in the Invitation Letter. The rules must be observed, else such children may be refused entry at the UK Border.
- Letters to assist IMO 2019 participants obtain a visa are available, at the organizers’ discretion, to Contestants, Leaders, Deputies and official Observers. They are NOT available to people claiming that they wish to volunteer to help at IMO 2019.
- Parents giving permission for under 18s to travel to IMO 2019 could use a letter like this: “I/We, [name/names of parent] am/are the parent(s) of [name of contestant], a citizen of [name of country or territory]. For the purposes of attending IMO 2019, and travel to and from this event, we place [name of Deputy Leader or other responsible adult attending IMO 2019] in loco parentis. My/Our child has my/our permission to attend IMO 2019 in the United Kingdom 11 — 22 July 2019. Should [name of contestant] require medication or urgent medical attention, [Deputy Leader’s name or … ] can give permission for appropriate treatment. We have informed [Name of Deputy or…] of any allergies from which our child suffers. ” Sign it and date it, and write home contact details (including email and phone) on the letter.
Tuesday February 15, 2019 Last day for online confirmation of participation by countries and territories.
Monday April 1, 2019 Last day to request a paper official invitation to be posted to your country or territory.
Tuesday April 23, 2019 Last day for receipt of problem proposals. Proposals can only be submitted through the IMO official portal.
Tuesday April 23, 2019 Last day for online registration of leaders, deputy leaders, observers, the number of contestants and arrival day for leaders and observers.
Monday May 20, 2019 Last day for full payment of charges for single rooms and observers in cleared funds. Please use the reference IMO2019 and your country or territory’s name.
Friday May 31, 2019 Last day for online registration of contestants.
Saturday June 15, 2019 Last day for online registration of all travel details (please fill this in earlier if you can).
- 10th July: Early Arrival (Leaders) and IMO Board arrivalIt begins!
- 11th July: Arrival of LeadersIMO Board meets all day at Celtic Manor.
- 12th July: Jury at WorkDetails to follow.
- 13th July: Jury at WorkDetails to follow.
- 14th July: Arrival of Contestants and Deputy LeadersJury still working hard.
- 15th July: Opening Ceremony Forum Theatre Bath 15:30Morning: Main site sign up choice of Excursions in IMO Office (queueing practice to adjust to the British way of life).
- 16th July: Contest day 1. Exam 08:30-13:00Details to follow.
- 17th July: Contest day 2. Exam 08:30-13:00; Leaders move to main siteDetails to follow.
- 18th July: Coordination.Walks and excursions for Contestants.
- 19th July: Coordination.Walks and excursions for Contestants.
- 20th July: Final Jury meeting 09:00.Chancellors’ Building: Intellectual Game 10:00-12:00, Chancellors’ Building: Careers’ Fair 14:00-16:00, Forum Theatre: IMO lecture (Ben Green FRS) 19:00.
- 21st July: Closing Ceremony 15:00 and farewell party 19:00Leaders’ Stonehenge Excursion morning.
- 22nd July: DeparturesOrganizers sleep.