Whiz kids to compete in India
SIXTEEN-year-old maths champ David Andersen and Year 11 classmate Niel van der Westhuizen will travel to India next month to represent Australia at the International Schools Software Competition.
The Fraser Coast Anglican College students were part of a team, along with student Samuel Bone, who came third overall at a recent University of NSW Programming Competition in Sydney after beating more than 100 other teams from around the country.
After another round of testing three weeks ago, the two boys were invited to participate in the South East Asia Regional Computer Confederations' competition in Chennai from October 21 to 24.
During the two-hour competition they will be asked to solve four programming problems.
David said in a previous competition, they had been asked to create a program to solve sudoku puzzles.
He said he learned some software programming at school but he expanded his knowledge online in his own time to get to a competitive level.
David said he was excited about the five-day trip and was busy getting his passport, visa and vaccinations organised.
Niel, David and Samuel have been granted potential scholarships of $3000 each if they attend the UNSW for their future tertiary studies, will receive a trophy for the College and will split a cheque for $1200.
Earlier in the year, David correctly answered 26,662 maths problems to win a global, two-day, online maths competition for his age group of 14 to 18 year olds.
He practiced adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing for an hour or two a day in the month before the competition.
“They start off pretty basic – small numbers, addition, subtraction, then they get up to decimals, negative numbers and brackets,” he said.
“It's very tiring to do that for two days straight.”
David said he practiced a lot and was competitive but he couldn't really explain why he was so good at maths.
“It's just really always something I enjoy and find rather easy,” he said.
College director of enrolments and marketing Peter Carey said David's mother was an occupational therapist and his father was a fitter and turner and they were thrilled by his achievements.
He said it was wonderful for the school, which strived for academic excellence, to have a world accomplished mathematician on campus.