Hero photograph
Ethan Ng, Winner 2019 NZ Senior Mathematics Competition
Photo by Murray Paull

Mathematics Success

Murray Paull —

2019 has been a very successful year for Mathematics at Burnside High School, with a number of outstanding results.

 These include

- First place in New Zealand Senior Mathematics competition

- Four students in the top 30 in National Junior Mathematics competition

- First, second and third places in CMA Year 12 Mathematics competition

- First place in CMA Year 11 Calculator competition

- First and second places in Year 10 Cantamath competition

- Second place in Year 9 Cantamath competition

- One prize and 11 High Distinctions in Australian Mathematics Competition

New Zealand Senior Mathematics Competition:

In August Burnside High School student Ethan Ng claimed the title as the top New Zealand High School mathematician.

Ethan won the final of the Victoria University New Zealand Senior Mathematics competition which took place in Wellington in August. This competition is open to all New Zealand High School students. 1200 students sat a preliminary paper in May, with the top 15 students nationally qualifying for the final. In 2018 Ethan made the final and finished runner-up. This year he went one better claiming the title.

This is a remarkable achievement as Ethan is only 14 years of age, and all the other finalists were aged 17 or 18. Ethan is currently studying Cambridge A Level Mathematics at Burnside High School, and is looking to study a double degree in Mathematics and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Canterbury in 2020.

National Junior Mathematics Competition:

This competition is open to Year 9, 10 and 11 students, with about 10 000 students taking part in 2019. Burnside High School had 55 students sit the paper.

Annabelle Brownsword 9WWTA, Nicholas Grace 11SPHC, Aditi Sharma 11WWLD and Shanika Yu 11WPPK all finished in the top 30 in their respective year levels- a very commendable effort. A further four students made the top 100.

CMA Year 12 Mathematics Competition:

This is a competition which involves teams of 4 students trying to be first to finish a set of challenging problems. This year there were 15 teams entered. Burnside High School had three teams entered and they finished in the first three places.

CMA Year 11 Calculator Competition:

This is a competition where teams answers complex mathematical problems. The difference in this competition is that use of calculators is permitted. 2019 is the 4th consecutive year that Burnside High School has won this competition.


This is the most competitive of all the team competitions. There were more than 50 teams in each of the Year 9 and 10 grades. In Year 9 the Burnside A team led all the way, but had difficulty with the last question to finally finish in second place.

In Year 10 two Burnside High School teams exchanged the lead throughout. In the end one team got the final question out inside the 30 minute time limit to claim first place. The other Burnside team finished in second place.

Australian Mathematics Competition:

This is the world’s largest Mathematics competition with over 500 000 students competing world. Burnside High School has a tradition of outstanding results in the AMC and 2019 has been no exception.

Students who are in the top 5% of their year group gain a High Distinction. This year Burnside gained a record 11 high distinctions. They went to : Woojin Song 9WRIC, James Li 9NHDC, Tim Fisher-Taylor 10SHKR, Ritvik Sharma 10NMTR, Joseph Grace 12SDMJ, Leon Meier 12WWNB, Ruth Gao 12NMDA, Sung Min Oh 12WSUM, Melody Liu 12WSUM and Ethan Ng 13SRT.

Above the High Distinction are Prizes. To gain a prize you need to score in the top half of the top 1 percent of your year level worldwide. There are fewer than 12 Prizes awarded to New Zealand students each year. This year Annabelle Brownsword 9WWTA gained a Prize. This is an outstanding achievement!

Congratulations to all the students who competed in mathematics competitions this year and a big thank you to the teachers and parents who have supported them.