Weronika is this year's Abel Winner

Weronika Wrzos-Kaminska from Nadderud high school in Bærum topped Abelkonkurransen and Andreas Alberg from Oslo won the PGS Challenger prize in an exciting final at NTNU yesterday.

Winners Weronika Wros-Kaminska and Andreas Alberg, with Education Minister and Per Arild Reksnes EVP Operations in PGSWinners Weronika Wros-Kaminska and Andreas Alberg, with Education Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen and Per Arild Reksnes EVP Operations in PGS

Wrzos-Kaminska first trounced 3547 competitors in the preliminary rounds, and then bettered 27 other participants in the finals in Trondheim on Tuesday to win the 15 000 kroner prize and guarantee a place in Norway's team at this year's International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO). 

"Last year I got a fifth place, and it was really great to win this year. I had no expectations of winning, the problems were just as difficult this year as last year. I look forward to representing Norway in the International Mathematical Olympiad in Hong Kong this summer," she said.

The prize was awarded by Education Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (H), who commented: 

"This competition is useful for highlighting young mathematicians who are allowed to cultivate their curiosity and passion for mathematics." 

Marius Stensrud from Ski high school came second, and third prize went to Bruno Kacper Mlodozeniec from Kristiansand Katedralskole Gimle. Fourth and fifth places were awarded to Erik Mingjun Ma from Hoeggen Skole in Trondheim, Zezhen Xiong frm Red Cross Nordic UWC, while sixth place was split between Sondre Sørbø of Lundeneset high school in Hordaland og Fridtjof Eikanger from Trondheim katedralskole.

PGS Challenger

Each year a special PGS award is made to the best, youngest newcomer in the final, PGS Utfordrerprisen was won this year by Andreas Alberg, who is just 12  years old and a pupil in the 8th grade at Fagerborg junior high in Oslo. This prize was awarded by Per Aril Reksnes, PGS Executive Vice President Operations.

PGS is the main sponsor of Abelkonkurransens, and will invite all 28 finalists to visit its head office in Oslo in May in when the winner of this year's international Abel prize in mathematics is honored by the King of Norway. Our aim is to give these high school pupils a glimpse of how PGS uses mathematics in practice to map the geology of the subsurface and support oil companies in their search for oil and gas.

"Mathematics is often seen as something abstract, but we in PGS make our living by applying its principles in practice. We want to show these young mathematicians that math opens a world of opportunities to them also within private industry. We need to stimulate as many as possible to focus on math and science. Norway needs more math heroes, and that is the most important reason that we sponsor Abelkonkurransen," says Jon Erik Reinhardsen, PGS CEO.

The finalists from Abelkonkurransen, including those who will represent Norway in IMO, are invited by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters as guests of honor to the award of the Abel Prize and the Holmboe prize in May.