Publish Date: 22.10.2010

Category: News from the University

The students who achieved excellent results at this year's International Mathematics Competition for University Students in July in Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria) were received by the University Rector, Professor Doctor Radovan Stanislav Pejovnik. Špela Špenko, Urban Jezernik and Gašper Zadnik won the second and David Gajser the third prize. The students and their mentors Professor Doctor Gregor Šega and Professor Doctor Marjan Jerman were received by the Rector together with the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics Professor Doctor Andrej Likar.

Over 300 students from 90 institutions across the globe participated in this year's competition. In the teams’ contest, the team from the University of Ljubljana achieved an excellent 27th place, which is one of the best results ever.

  Špela Špenko – I’m in my last year of study. I’m mostly interested in superalgebra, i.e. arithmetic algebra, and I will probably write my diploma thesis from this field. Some universities prepare their students especially for this competition.  We didn’t have any special preparation. We just took it more casually and achieved excellent results. 

  Urban Jezernik – I have the Zois scholarship. I had an excellent professor in secondary school who was able to awaken an exceptional interest in mathematics in me. There were ten problems in the competition, five to be solved each day. We didn’t have any actual preparation for the competition. We were invited and we took that as reward for our good and successful work at the Faculty. 

  Gašper Zadnik – I just graduated this summer. I'm currently waiting to receive my early stage researcher status. I will continue the research that I started while writing my diploma thesis – geometry in space. All in all, one third of the problems at the competition were rather easy, one third routine and one third very demanding.

  David Gajser – I’m more interested in applied mathematics. I’m aware that it’s difficult to join an industry with mathematical knowledge but things are getting better. Society is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of using top mathematical knowledge. I’m not worried about finding a job. We entered the competition just to check our knowledge and saw that we have so far already acquired a lot at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics.

  Prof. Dr. Gregor Šega, mentor
The result is exceptional, the best ever. We have to be aware that a lot of universities especially prepare for this competition, while all we did was invite four of the best math students to participate. The same four students had already taken part in the competition last year and as they had had excellent results we invited them to enter again.

  Prof. Dr. Marjan Jerman, mentor
Our Bologna programme now holds lectures for smaller groups of students. The lectures allow the students to learn a lot about theory, while tutorials deal with the more practical aspect, concrete problems, everyday situations, more deduction and above all independent thinking. Such knowledge and competencies undoubtedly provide an excellent basis for such competitions.

  Prof. Dr. Andrej Likar, Dean
We would like to attract more students to the study of mathematics and physics. We see that there aren’t a lot of students choosing this field even though the requirements for both are growing, particularly for nuclear physics. There is the need for more young people to decide on this area of study at an international level, as there are simply not enough people who will be qualified in this field, even in areas where one would at first glance believe that there are enough. Europe and the world need them. The construction of nuclear power plants is envisaged across the globe.

  Prof. Dr. Radovan Stanislav Pejovnik, Rector of the University of Ljubljana
Warmest congratulations to all of you for doing so well and successfully representing the University of Ljubljana. We are proud of you.
Whenever I hear about the successes of our students, it always makes me happy because it shows that we are a good and high quality university. That is why I meet up with such students and talk to them about their successes and any problems they might have.