UKZN’s Siyanqoba Maths teams held a highly successful competition event recently with the Junior A team finishing third out of 45 teams nationally.
The competition was run under the auspices of the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF).
Since 2011, the Siyanqoba programme, the brainchild of UKZN Emeritus Professor Poobhalan Pillay, has assisted high school students in achieving success in the South African Mathematics Olympiads (SAMO). ‘Hundreds of learners have benefited from the programme,’ said Pillay.
This year, the programme placed two junior learners among the top 10 in the country.
During the competition, top UKZN student and former Siyanqoba participant, Mr Dalian Sunder, gave an interesting talk on geometrical constructions; whilst fellow student Mr Nashlen Govindasamy put on a brilliant display of simultaneous chess, playing 10 learners at once (some of whom represent KwaZulu-Natal), and beating them all. Govindasamy is currently ranked sixth nationally in chess.
Pillay thanked the various people involved in making the competition a success, including the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, the Actuarial Society of South Africa, Casio, SAMF, and lecturers and coaches from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science.
Dean and Head of the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, Professor Delia North, said Pillay deserved the most thanks for his tireless efforts to promote excellence in Mathematics among school goers, describing him as ‘a legend in our midst’.
Pillay is the 2016 recipient of SAMF Honorary Award which will be presented to him this Saturday for his efforts in developing, promoting and strengthening the SAMF Olympiad programmes in South Africa over many years.