Martin's Blog

Hurricane Emily

Posted by Martin Orr on Saturday, 16 July 2005 at 20:33

Hurricane Emily is heading straight for the Yucantán peninsula. It seems certain that there will be heavy rain from tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon, and we may be hit by the storm itself later in the evening (early Monday morning BST). Preparations ae being made, the windows of our hotel rooms have been taped up and some have been boarded up (the biggest danger seems to be from the windows breaking). The expedition to Chichen-Itza tomorrow has been moved forward a couple of hours to ensure we get home before the rain, and the closing ceremony on Monday may be cancelled.

The hotel is one of the three most hurricane-proof buildings in Mérida, so we will be safe in a windowless room. However, whether we are directly hit by the storm or not, there is a high probability that our journey home will be delayed in the aftermath.

-- Martin

no comments Tags hurricane, imo, mexico

Scores and excursions

Posted by Martin Orr on Saturday, 16 July 2005 at 20:23

Well, first the scores for the UK team:

|Saul Glasman |2|7|0|7|3|1|20|
|Nathan Kettle|7|7|7|7|3|2|33|
|Andre Kueh   |3|7|7|7|1|7|32|
|Matthew Lee  |1|7|0|7|7|1|23|
|Martin Orr   |7|7|6|7|7|1|35|
|Jack Shotton |2|7|0|7|0|0|16|

That gives us a total score of 159, our highest since 1995 or 1996. Fiachra Knox from Ireland got a total of 34. Predicted medal boundaries are approximately 34 for gold, 25 for silver and 14 for bronze.

Yesterday we visited Dzibilchaltún, an excavated Mayan city, and went to the beach. Today we had a sports and activities day, but it was outside so it was too hot to do much. We also went salsa dancing last night (learning it in Focus had to come in useful some time).

-- Martin

no comments Tags imo, mexico

IMO exams

Posted by Martin Orr on Friday, 15 July 2005 at 18:19

Yesterday and today were the two exams of the IMO. Yesterday I solved questions 1 (a surprisingly difficult geometry - question 1 is supposed to be easy) and 2 (an easy number theory). Question 2 was much easier than question 1, as is agreed by the whole UK team, our leader and most other people I have talked to. I thought I had solved question 3 (a moderate inequality) but discovered a flaw in the last 2 minutes of the exam. This was in an easy part of the question however so I should not lose too many marks. Our whole team solved question 2; Matthew also got 1, Andre and Jack also got 3, Nathan got all 3.

On today's exam the questions were at least in the right order. Question 4 was an easy number theory which I solved in under an hour, question 5 a middling-to-hard geometry which I eventually got. Question 6 was a hard combinatorics problem which again I thought I had solved only to discover it was flawed in the last few minutes. This time the flaw is much more serious. The whole team solved 4, Andre and Nathan also got 6.

-- Martin

no comments Tags imo

Training continues

Posted by Martin Orr on Saturday, 09 July 2005 at 20:21

In the last three days we have done a further two exams. On Thursday I scored 21 and this morning I got two questions.

Besides this, we went to a baseball game. This is a game in which it is almost impossible to score: the game lasts for nine innings (both teams batting in each inning) and the score was 7-5 which is about average or slightly higher. Basically it is pretty hard to hit the ball (or at least they only go for it rarely), and when you do hit it it is almost always caught. There were really only two innings which were exciting, in which most of the runs were scored.

Yesterday our leader Geoff went to Mexico. The leaders go to the IMO early and select the problems. After they have seen the problems, they are of course no longer allowed to talk to us. Tom Barnett-Lamb came to assist Adrian (our Deputy Leader) in training us.

-- Martin

no comments Tags baseball, imo, usa

Start of training

Posted by Martin Orr on Wednesday, 06 July 2005 at 19:29

Each of the last three days we have done a practice exam. The first was easy, and if you assumed the same medal boundaries as last year we would have got 4 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze and been placed second to China. I scored 20/21. Yesterday was rather harder, I was the only person to get question 3, but I scored 21. This morning was very hard and no one got more than one question. I think I did get one but it hasn't been marked yet.

In the afternoons we have generally relaxed for a while, then done a sheet of problems. Today we went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, where they have a large collection of tropical butterflies (live, flying around in an artificial rainforest). It must require a lot of work to maintain this and the associated exhibition, to ensure that there are always creatures in the correct stage of their life cycle in the different displays. They have huge racks of butterfly pupae and we saw a staff member come and collect all the butterflies that had emerged today.

And if you are interested in the weather it is now raining, very heavily and has been since we left the museum. (Are rain drops really bigger in hot countries?)

-- Martin

no comments Tags imo, usa

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