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Jordan will sum it up for UK at maths Olympiad

By Lindsay Fergus

A teenage maths genius will be going for gold when he travels to the International Mathematical Olympiad this summer.

Regent House's Jordan Millar is the only person from Northern Ireland to win a place on the six-strong UK team.

The squad will be competing against more than 90 other countries at the mathematical world championships for high school pupils in Amsterdam next month.

While other teenagers will be letting their hair down after completing their A-levels, the 18-year-old will be undertaking four-and-a-half hour long maths papers over two days.

"Some of the questions are really easy to understand, they are just really hard to answer," he explained. "You spend a lot of time solving nothing and you either get the answer all at once in the time limit or not, so I am just going to go and try my best."

Problems the deputy head boy will be asked to solve at the International Mathematical Olympiad include geometry, algebra, number theory and combinatorics.

Jordan is also the first person from Northern Ireland since 2005 to represent the UK at the prestigious competition following success at the British Mathematical Olympiad.

And needless to say, the head of mathematics at his Newtownards grammar school is delighted by his achievements.

Sharon Robinson said: "The school is immensely proud of Jordan and his achievements and we look forward to following his success in the future."

The 18-year-old is no stranger to success having achieved 13 A* grades at GCSE. He already has an A* in maths at A-level and is projected to get another five A* grades in further maths, physics, biology, chemistry and geography - and is planning to study maths at Trinity College, Cambridge, in October.

He has also represented Ireland at the Physics Olympiad, where he picked up a bronze medal, and has flown the flag for Northern Ireland and Ulster in athletics.

Jordan had to get through a number of qualifiers and training camps before being named as a member of the UK team this month.

Although the talented Newtownards teenager is modest about his achievements, Ms Robinson admits that he has an amazing gift.

"He is single-minded about his work but Jordan does not blow his own trumpet. He is just a normal boy with a real gift for mathematics," she explained.

"He is a one-off. I have been teaching here for a long time and I do not think we will ever see another Jordan."

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