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Hungary has long been known for its outstanding production of mathematical talent. Extracurricular programs such as camps and competitions form a strong foundation within the Hungarian tradition. New types of competitions in recent years include team competitions, multiple choice competitions, and some exclusively for students who are not in a special mathematics class. This study explores some of the recent developments in Hungarian mathematics competitions and the potential implications these changes have for the very competition-driven system that currently exists. The founding of so many new competitions reflects a possible shift in the focus and purpose of competitions away from a strictly talent-search model to a more inclusive “enrichment” approach. However, it is clear that in Hungary, tradition itself remains a strong motivating factor and continues to stimulate the development of mathematically talented students. The involvement of the mathematical community in the identification and education of young talents helps perpetuate these traditions.


Published with permission from Bharath Sriraman, Editor: The Mathematics Enthusiast.

Original citation: Stockton, Julianna Connelly. "Mathematical Competitions in Hungary: Promoting a Tradition of Excellence & Creativity." The Mathematics Enthusiast. 9.1/2 (2012): 37-58.