||Click on the thumbnail
for a larger picture
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
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
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: Mera Bharat Mahaan. I'm very patriotic that way.
Q: So you plan to come back to India?
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
Aditya : Thanx a lot. Nice meeting you too.