With the support of the Fulbright Commission, students from Quito, Guayaquil, Loja, Riobamba, and Otavalo who classified to the final of the Fulbright Math Olympics were invited to come to Quito and spend a week receiving math training from our in-house expert, Edwin Lapuerta, and participating in a variety of academic and recreational activities.
While most of their days were spent in math workshops and long hours of practice, the finalists' tight schedule was packed with interesting visits to important universities, museums, and landmarks in the capital city. A very important part of this week was the exchange experience the students got to live. They all had room-mates from a city different than their own and for a week experienced a micro-environment that replicated in part what students in the US face when they go off to college. This mix of academic competition and sharing a life away from home with other students fostered a level of connection among the participants that was impressive to witness. Beyond the competition results, these students walked away with friendships and cherished moments that will last a lifetime.
We want to congratulate all eleven finalists for their achievements and overall great academic performance in their own educational institutions and for their remarkable performance in this nation-wide contest. Our finalists were (in alphabetical order): Miguel Aragón (Otavalo - 5th place), Vanessa Ávila (Riobamba - finalist), Fremio Burgos (Guayaquil - finalist), José Capa (Loja - finalist), Nicolás Cedeño (Guayaquil - finalist), Andrés Hernández (Quito - 1st place), Karol Leal (Guayaquil - finalist), Diego Vaca (Quito - 2nd place), Andrés Valle (Quito - 4th place shared), Fernando Zambrano (Guayaquil - 4th place shared), Andrés Zumba (Guayaquil - 3rd place).
Thanks to the financial support of the US Embassy in Quito, the top 6 participants won scholarships to fund their studies of English in their home town. We are sure that they will take good advantage of this opportunity they have earned and we hope to see them become Fulbright grantees in a near future. Congratulations to all!