From the 3rd until the 13th of july the 55th International Mathematical Olympiad was held at UCT. 103 countries were participating and 5 of the 6 members of the South African team came from Cape Town.
On that occasion today we had an interview with Prof. Johan Engelbracht who is Executive Director of The South African Mathematics Foundation.
The South African Mathematics Foundation was founded ten years ago, when Johan Engelbracht and his co-founders realized that it was not going well enough with mathematics in the country. According to him, although we definitely have made a lot of progress, we still have a long way to travel.
Engelbracht points out, that to raise interest in mathematics, we have to raise the status of mathematics as a viable career option. And we have to let go of the perception that mathematics is boring and only meant for gifted people. Mathematics is a great and fascinating subject. It can be difficult but if you spend some time practicing eventually understanding will arrive.
If you like mathematics, there are a number of good careers. For instance engineering, accounting, finance, medicine, biology, and of course teaching.
Of course you also have the opportunity of applying for The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). This world championship competition for high school students is held annually in different countries.