World Maths Day champion and Fraser Coast Anglican College student David Andersen.
World Maths Day champion and Fraser Coast Anglican College student David Andersen. Nat Bromhead

David + maths = champion

WHEN it comes to mathematics Hervey Bay student David Andersen is in a class of his own and on top of the world.

The 15-year-old Fraser Coast Anglican College student is a dual world champion after retaining the World Maths Day title he won last year.

He now has a hat-trick in his sights with algorithms, algebra and calculus a piece of cake for the number-hungry Year 11 student.

“I generally find maths easier than other subjects,” David, from Torquay, said yesterday.

“I suppose it’s down to a lot of practice. It’s fun.”

All the practise paid off on the double last week when more than a million students from 56,082 schools and 235 countries got stuck into the 36-hour online maths extravaganza.

After playing 500 one-minute maths games where his mental arithmetic was tested to the full, David emerged top of his class of 14 to 18-year-olds with a score of 26,662.

The winners were posted on the World Maths Day website this morning after the results were validated.

Ironically, the student he edged into second place was also Australian, a girl called Tatiana who finished on 24,920.

While Australia had two students in the top two, Malaysia had five with Hong Kong (2) and the United States making up the numbers in the competition hosted by Johannesburg.

“It really was an exciting time for the school,” Nerinda Lowry, head of the school’s maths department, said.

“I feel like a proud mum so I can’t imagine what his parents feel like.

“He is an extremely talented mathematician.

“He’s always actively involved in what’s going on in the classroom. He’s never a student who gets into mischief.

“He’s got the genetics but there is only so far that genes can take you. Sheer hard work has got him here. He never gives up.

“It’s not often you get a student of this calibre.”

Along with six mathematics B and C lessons each week, David is also studying physics, chemistry, English and IPT. He would like to work in the IT industry or as an engineer when he is older.

The World Maths Day competition is run by 3P Learning in association with UNICEF.

The 2011 event will be even bigger with World Maths Day becoming part of the World Education Games and David is hoping to finish his school days with a third successive world triumph.

“It offers interactive work for students who want to enhance their classroom experience at home,” Ms Lowry said.

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