The Nazarbayev University Math Team won Five medals at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Bulgaria

Five NU students – Narbayev Bakdauren, Kurmanbek Bakytzhan, Aikyn Nartay, Khamiyev Izat and Dairabay Zhumazhenis  – brought home medals from the International mathematical Olympiad (IMC), held in Bulgaria from July 28 to August 3, 2019.  

“We chose good guys and began to work with them further: we advised them to participate in the Republican Olympiad, where they took first places,” says the team’s mentor, Dr. Yerlan Amanbek.

The students started preparing for the Olympiad this summer. Even though the students are young, they have already participated in competitions at this level.

“At the Olympiads, you understand that all participants share a common passion – mathematics, which, of course, contributes to making new acquaintances that may be useful in the future. It doesn’t matter what country and university you’re from. Everybody is judged solely on their knowledge and abilities. You are surrounded by like-minded people, and there is much more than you could imagine,” says Bakdauren Narbaev, a bronze medalist at the IMC.   Bakdauren, who has participated in various Olympiads since primary school, believes that no talismans are needed to win.  Rather, to win, one needs only good preparation, healthy sleep and proper nutrition. The student believes that it is possible to achieve great results if you put in hard work, study, and focus.  

The main purpose of such Olympiads – is to give interested students a chance to develop their skills and grow as individuals, while participating in a subject they love.   “A lot depends on the mentor, he must push the student to the right path at the right time, instill in him a love for the subject, but without motivation, talent and labor nothing will happen,” says team captain Bakytbek Zhumanov.

Bakytbek’s love story with mathematics began in the seventh grade, when a school teacher noticed the enthusiastic child and invited him to participate in the Olympiad. Now a couple of years later as a student of Nazarbayev University he participates in regional and international competitions. This year Bakytbek went to the Olympiad as a team leader. Currently, Bakytbek is an employee of the Department of Mathematics of the School of Sciences and Humanities of Nazarbayev University and plans to begin a doctoral program in his specialty.

“When you’re in the beginning of your career, you still don’t know what your passion for mathematics will bring you. One day you wake up and realize that it becomes a part of you, your guiding star and a guide to life,” says Bakytbek Zhumanov.

“Our students have been participating in the international math Olympiad since 2012. It has already become a good tradition,” said Dr. Amanbek. According to him, participating in Olympiads at such an international level helps to create a special ecosystem of like-minded people, where mathematicians from all over the world gather together. And such events are a good experience for students of Nazarbayev University.