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Home>Aditya's interview with Educare
Aditya's interview with Educare

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Interview with Aditya M R, one of the two selected from the gulf and of twenty eight from the Indian schools around the world for the finals of the Mathematics Olympiad held in Delhi on Feb 03, 2002.
Prerna, a talented young journalist, caught up with another talented young achiever, Aditya, in Delhi and interviewed him.


Prerna : Hi Aditya !
Adi : Hi !

Prerna : I am from 'Educare', have you seen this magazine before ? (showing the past issues.)
Adi : (Having a look at the issues of Educare)

Q: And do you know that the content for this magazine is developed by Career Launcher's division?
Really? Great. In fact I thank them very much because they sponsored my stay here. And all these people who are helping me (here with preparation for the Olympiad) are from Career Launcher.

Q: Who people?
Everybody here. (smiles) Mr. Shivkumar (Director, Academics of Career Launcher) was here too. Plus their help came at a time when I was looking for a place to stay in Delhi. They came in handy.

Q: So did you hear of Career Launcher before?
Yes I have. In October 2001, they had come to my school and had a seminar, Mr Srinivasan was there too. So I did know of Career Launcher before, definitely. This time what happened was that when people were interviewing me there, Mr Srinivasan was also there. When he came to know that we were going to Delhi and were looking for accommodation, he just came forward and offered this help (accommodation and grooming for the Olympiad). It was very good.

Q: And have you heard of Compassbox?
Yes I have. It is their website. Compassbox.com. Been to that site but haven't been very intimately involved with it too much...

Q: Oh so you come to India every year as you told me… Do you have family here?
A: My grandparents are here. It's just my dad who is working as an expatriate in Bahrain.

Q: And what does he do?
A: He is an electrical engineer.

Q: And your mom?
A: She's a housewife.

Q: And what is the name of your school?
A: The Indian School, Bahrain.

Q: And do you have brothers and sisters?
No, I am an only child.

Q: Does it get lonely?
A: Yes at times it does.

Q: So how did you get selected for the Maths Olympiad?
A: This Olympiad is supposed to be a national-level Olympiad. So its candidates are selected form all over India. Till this year it was only India, but this year they have made it open for all the Indians worldwide. So, the entire country is divided into 17 groups. CBSE, ICSE and all that. CBSE is supposed to be the largest group and has 6,140 schools all over the world. From all these schools, there will be five representatives each and take the GMO, the Group Mathematical Olympiad. Out of these students, 28 are short-listed and I was one of them. Then from 23rd to 26th there was a training camp in Delhi organized by CBSE. And it would have been impractical to go back to Bahrain and come back again. So I just stay put.

Q: What kind of preparations did you do?
A: For the preliminary exam it was the basic knowledge of mathematics and then a couple of Olympiad questions that I went through. And though the questions weren't exactly easy, they were thankfully to my knowledge. After passing that level comes the National Level Olympiad and isn't easy at all. This is where my teacher helped me a lot. Then the professors helped me, gave me a book too, questions to work on. The funda with these questions are that the moment you read the question, it should strike you, but if it doesn't, you're gone.

Q: Strike you as in?
A: As in how to do it?. The path should strike you as you read the question. If you don't get the method, you'll go on a wild-goose chase and not get anywhere near the solution. One main thing is that you should have the information, the knowedge and then know how to go about it. That comes only after practice and experience.

Q: So is it the maths that is of your class level?
A: Way beyond that. Pretty tough.

Q: So do you have cousins here in Delhi, your age, who are studying in schools here?
A: Yes I do. All in CBSE schools.

Q: So when you see their studies, how do you think it is different from that in Bahrain?
A: The quality of teaching differs. In Bahrain, there is a lack of material. The only motive the children there have is to pass. So they are happy with their 33 percents. Of course there are students who are not like this and really compete with the best in India, and its not as if they produce bad products. The schools are very good. The thing is that the average student doesn't aspire to get into IIT. In today's world the measure is IIT and in India, the students are trained to go through the JEE. And what happens to people living abroad is that if they write SAT, they get a reservation when it comes to getting into IIT. So its easy enough for them for a little extra money. So they aren't really intent upon sitting for JEE, solving tough problems, and the teachers thus doesn't give them too many tough questions.

Q: So is it your favourite subject?
A: Yes, you could say that.

Q: And what is it you like so much about it?
A; I like a subject in which I don't have to repeat the same thing over and over again. Like Arts, I would have to read and study the same this over and over and it doesn't hold any interest for me. And take Maths, where every question presents a new challenge. Every thing gives me a new interest. So I go from one level of difficulty to the next. So new things keep coming up, there are times when I get stuck with a problem and then I think about it… So it's very interesting you know. Both the Sciences and Maths are like that.

Q: And which is the branch you like the most in Maths?
A: Geometry. No, no, I like Algebra better. Geometry is my second interest.

Q: And the subject you wouldn't like?
A: I'd say Chemistry. It's plain mugging up. Got to remember chemicals and their names.

Q: And what do you want to do after your school?
A: Not any final ideas as such. And apart from Maths, I also like Biology. So I got two options. I could go for medical but that would make me lose touch with maths altogether. So let's see if I can do something to do with Biotechnology. Still thinking about it.

Q: What do your parents have to say about your career plans?
A: They say I should do what I am happy with and think if I'll still be happy with the same thing, same profession 20 years from now. Don't go on instinct they say. Computers may be interesting to me, but in the long term, will the field have a good job for me? Looking at the long-term basis too.

Q: And where do you like it better?
A: India.

Q: Why?
A: Mera Bharat Mahaan. I'm very patriotic that way.

Q: So you plan to come back to India?
A: Definitely.

Q: And what are your hobbies?
A: Reading. Both fiction and non-fiction. The last book I read was Sherlock Holmes. I like detective theories, thrillers. Anything as long as it isn't boring.

Q: What about sports?
A: I like to play cricket, follow cricket. But am not too much of a sports freak.

Q: Do you study a lot Aditya?
A: Yea, my studying time is a lot more than several others.

Q: You like movies?
A: I like watching movies, especially Hindi movies, a great time pass.

Prerna : Aditya thanks a lot. Wishing you the very best for the Olympiad results.
Aditya : Thanx a lot. Nice meeting you too.