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Youth of the week

Have you ever heard of the mathematics books Magic Math or Simply Unique 1?

If you are interested in maths, you may be familiar with these books. 

Magic Math is a scholastic preparation book, whereas Simply Unique 1 is a book used to learn how to increase the speed of calculation without the use of a calculator. The titles of these books suggest they would be written by mathematicians or professors. 
But you’ll be surprised to learn they were both written by 20-year-old Saing Darareaksmey, a fourth-year student majoring in law at Pannasastra University of Cambodia.

Saing Darareaksmey has published three books since 2008. Magic Math was published in October, 2008, Simply Unique 1 was published in April, 2010, and 168 Inequality and Number Theory Exercises was published in September, 2010.

He also recently published updated versions of  Magic Math and  Simply Unique 1. 
Apart from his publication achievements, Saing Daraeaksmey has won praise and awards for his maths skills. In May, 2005, he became the National Top Level Student champion and received the gold medal in maths at junior high school. In May, 2008, he received the silver medal for maths at senior high school. He says the key to all his success is focusing on maths and learning all the information and exercises in advance. 

“When I was in grade seven, I could understand all the grade 9 maths exercises,” he says. So, when it came time for competition in grade 9, he was already familiar with the maths, allowing him to focus his efforts elsewhere. “I just reviewed other subjects such as morality, geography and history instead of maths,” he says. 

Saing Darareaksmey says his success is based largely on the encouragement he receives from his family: “My siblings were also champions in the National Top Level Student competition, so they have always encouraged me to study hard”. 

After becoming a champion in the Nat-ional Top Level Student competition, he was selected to participate in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Spain in August, 2008 and in the Asia Pacific Mathematical Olympiad (APMO) in Cambodia.

He says that participating in these international competitions allowed him to grasp the difference between questions in international and national competitions:  “All the questions are more difficult than the ones I have faced in Cambodia”. 

Saing Darareaksmey is now the president of Cambodian Mathematic Generation (CMG). In June, the group conducted a workshop in co-operation with the Chicago Summer Math Camp and Competition. He is currently teaching training courses to students of all ages who are interested in learning the techniques and exercises he learned during international competitions.



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