Mathematics Wiskunde


Mathematics Olympiads

Our undergraduate students participate in a number of undergraduate mathematics Olympiads, and the mathematics division also serves in organising and teaching high school Olympiad students.

Undergraduate mathematics olympiads

Wits Mathematics Competition (undergraduate section)

The University of the Witswatersrand Mathematics Competition started in 2018 and Stellenbosch University undergraduate students have participated since 2019. There is a first round in May, consisting of 15 multiple choice questions, and a final round in October consisting of 10 questions where only an answer is required and 2 questions requiring a full solution or a proof.

Notable achievements are that a Stellenbosch University student has placed in the top 10 each year since 2019, with four top ten places in 2021 and that Ralph McDougall was the overall winner in 2020 and 2021.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Liam Baker.

SA Tertiary Mathematics Olympiad (SATMO)

The SATMO was started in 2012 and Stellenbosch University has participated each year since then. This Olympiad is written in August each year and consists of 20 problems where only a written final answer is required.

Notable achievements are that Ralph McDougall was the overall winner in 2020 and 2021 (tied in 2021) and that in 2016 and 2018 Dylan Nelson and Robin Visser, respectively were the best performing Honours students.

If you wish to participate, contact Dr. Dirk Basson or register directly by following the link below.

Simon Marais Mathematics Competition

Simon Marais was a Stellenboch alumnus who worked in Australia and this competition was founded in his memory. Stellenbosch University was invited (among others) to participate for the first time in 2021 to pilot a “two-timezone” model.

The question papers follow the model of many national and international Olympiads giving a long time (3 hours) for a small number of questions (4 problems). The competition consists of two such papers written on the same day. Fully written solutions are required for these problems.

If you wish to participate, contact Dr. Dirk Basson.

International Mathematics Competition

The International Mathematics Competition is a competition for undergraduate students, usually held in Bulgaria. Usually each university enters a team of four students that represents that university, but due to budget constraints, the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) funds and administrates the selection of one combined South African team. There is a selection test in July, but to qualify for the selection test you must write the SATMO and Simon Marais Competition in the previous year (and it would be to your benefit to also write the Wits Maths Competition).

There is no registering for this; if you qualify you will be contacted.

SAMF December Camp

Every year in roughly the first week of December we host a camp for approximately 50 high school students, giving training on olympiad topics and running tests which form part of the selection of national teams for the Pan African Mathematical Olympiad and the International Mathematical Olympiad.

There is no registering for this; if you qualify you will be contacted by the South African Mathematics Foundation.

South African Mathematics Teams Competition

The SAMTC (previously known as the Inter-provincial Mathematics Olympiad or IPMO) has been an annual event since 1990, usually on a Saturday in September, consisting of an individual paper and a team paper; teams are then ranked by their total scores. Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town usually take turns hosting the Western Province and Boland teams, and some of our staff and undergraduate students are involved in organising the competition logistically.

If you wish to participate and are in the Boland region, contact Dr. Liam Baker.