Exams and Sports

8. April 2017

4.5 hours of math exams. What sounds like a nightmare to some is a delight for others. Our 168 contestants spend half of this sunny and warm spring day inside, using all their brain power and creativity for the three exam problems of today. And enjoying the beauty of mathematics.

But all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl. That’s why we offered some opportunities to do some sports in the afternoon. Here are the pictures of the day:


Day 2: Exams and Sports

Beautiful Problems

4.5 hours of hard thinking: Participants faced the first exam this morning. After the challenge, we talked with them about their strategies to solve the problems, and about their favorite topics. Check out the video with Lucia and Celia (Spain), Jana (Serbia), Molka and Farah (Tunisia).

EGMO 2017 Declared Open!

Five years ago, Viviane Kehl was a participant at the first EGMO that was held in Cambridge in 2012. Now, she declared the EGMO 2017 open as the President of the Swiss Mathematical Olympiad and a member of the Organizing Committee of EGMO 2017.

With powerful speeches of Prof. Sarah Springman, Rector of the ETH Zurich, and Dr. Geoff Smith, founder of the EGMO and Chairman of the IMO Advisory Board, the opening ceremony of the EGMO 2017 was held in the Audi Max of the prestigious main building of the ETH Zurich.

What a Show!

Our guests also enjoyed lots of Swiss culture at both the ceremony and the welcome apéro (a buffet-style dinner) with a variety of tastes from Swiss cuisine. Dulcimer (Hackbrett) and alphorn players performed traditional Swiss and modern songs, an all-female band (Die Exfreundinnen) brought tears to the eyes of the sentimental Swiss in the audience when singing the old and sad love song “Guggisberglied”, while flag throwers (Fahnenschwingen) impressed the crowd with their extraordinary skills.


Day 1: Opening Ceremony


Back to Work

But EGMO is not only about celebrating. After the ceremony, the preparation for the first exam day continued. While the leaders and coordinators went straight back to finish the exam problems, and many of our volunteers prepared the exam room, the contestants had a tranquil evening to relax and prepare for the big day. Prof. Springman, rector of ETH and an engineer, gave them an advice for their challenge: “Remember that less than 10% of your brain’s capacities are used for conscious thoughts. Most is hence used for the unconscious. So, if your stuck in the middle of a math problem: relax, don’t think to hard. The solution might find its way to you occasionally.”

Scavenger Hunt and Jury Meeting

7. April 2017

It’s been a busy day for all of us. Before Viviane Kehl, President of the Swiss Mathematical Olympiad, officially declared the EGMO 2017 open, a lot has happened…


Solving Riddles and Discovering Zurich

The girls had a lot of fun today at the scavenger hunt. While trying to solve some more or less tricky tasks, they discovered the Old Town of Zurich, got lost in the maze of the ETH building or ran through the lush park of the University of Zurich’s Irchel Campus. From Roman ruins to Dadaism, mammoth theeth to the small cable railway Polybahn, there was much to be seen on this sunny day.


Day 1: Scavanger Hunt


Jury Meeting

While our young math talents enjoyed themselves at the scavenger hunt, the leaders and coordinators had some serious business to do. The exams had to be discussed and accepted, and they were translated into the national languages of the delegations.


Day 1: Jury Meeting

Talking about Mathematics on a Boat

This morning, the deputy leaders enjoyed a boat trip on the Lake of Zurich. During the week, they take care of their students, and they mark the exams. About 30 mathematicians on a boat: A perfect occasion to talk about some important questions. Why do we need the EGMO? Why do you love mathematics? What’s EGMO’s benefit for you, as a teacher? Check out the answers from the deputy leaders from Serbia, Kazakhstan and Luxembourg.


Arrival Day

6. April 2017

Grüezi and Welcome!

Finally, the participants are arriving! Today, our team guides met their delegations at either Zurich airport or the main train station. They arrived from all corners of Europe, oras in the case of the ten guest delegationsfrom all corners of the planet. Some had really long and tiring trips, but they all seemed to be happy to have arrived in Zurich for EGMO 2017.

Here are some pictures of some of the arriving delegations:


Arrival Day

And what do participants expect from EGMO 2017? What do they think about Switzerland? Check out our video:





We are ready!

5. April 2017

Volunteer training is over, goody bags are packed… we are ready! We wanted to take pictures of the team guides packing the bags, but when we got there, they had already finished. Great job! The delegations from 43 countries are about to arrive.

Did you know that almost the entire EGMO 2017 is organized by volunteers? In hundreds of unpaid hours the Organizing Committee and their colleagues from the Swiss Mathematical Olympiad did everything to ensure a smooth and exciting event.

If you want to get some occasional glimpses behind the scences of the EGMO 2017 to honor the work of our volunteers, check out our Flickr account and the album “Behind the Scenes”.


Behind the Scenes

Our Delegations

4. April 2017

It is a pleasure and honor to welcome delegations from 43 countries from all over the world to our EGMO 2017 in Zurich.

A warm and friendly “Grüezi” to:

  • 168 contestants
  • 99 leaders, deputy leaders and observers
  • 107 volunteers, invigilators and organizers

Find a full list of all participating countries on the website of the international EGMO organization.


Map showing all participating countries


Press Release

1. April 2017

Journalists and representatives of the press may find further information on the EGMO 2017 below. Contact persons can be found at the end of each press release.


Press Release, 30 March 2017

Press Release English (PDF)

Press Release German (PDF)

Press Release French (PDF)


Pictures of the Swiss and Liechtenstein Delegations

Delegations EGMO 2017
© Association of Swiss Scientific Olympiads