The Mathematical Olympiad has been held every year since 1965. Contestants tackle problems that are very difficult but which can be solved using techniques taught in secondary school. The Catalan stage of the competition takes place on a Friday afternoon and a Saturday morning in December. Three or four problems are solved at each session. The top three contestants in Catalonia receive a gold medal; the next three receive a silver medal and the following three receive a bronze medal. Each medal is accompanied by a cash prize. The winners of the Catalan stage go on to compete in the Spanish Olympiad, and the Spanish champions go on to the International Mathematical Olympiad.
Olympiad preparation classes are more than just a crash course for contestants; they introduce simple techniques that students can use in their secondary-school and university courses and serve as stimulation for those who enjoy mathematical problems of various kinds.
For the past several years, the Department has been offering classes to prepare students for the Catalan phase of the Olympiad. Students learn problem-solving techniques, review certain mathematical skills taught in secondary school that are useful for solving problems, and practise problems used in previous editions of the Mathematical Olympiad (at both the Catalan and international levels). Each session focuses on a particular topic and is more or less independent of the other sessions. After a brief theoretical introduction, students review various techniques and apply them to problems used in previous editions of the Olympiad.
Xavier Xarles, firstname.lastname@example.org
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