06 January 2009

Hard Problems: documentary about the 2006 IMO

There is a documentary called Hard Problems: The Road to the World's Toughest Math Contest available from amazon.com
which focuses on the 2006 United States team in the International Mathematical Olympiad. I'm interested to learn about its existence. I'm inclined to view it as a cinematic analogue of Count Down: Six Kids Vie for Glory at the World's Toughest Math Competition, a book about the US team at the 2001 IMO which I rather liked. (Of course, it's possible that my soft spot for the book exists because I like to think I could have been on the 2001 IMO team.)


Timothy said...

I like to think that I could have gone to the IMO - though in my case I would have represented Australia in 1995. Actually it still causes me to cringe slightly when I hear the IMO mentioned, even though I know my chances of making the team would have been very slight, had I attempted to at the time.

jasbury said...

I saw this film recently. It occurred to me the purpose of the IMO and the MAA is to identify and groom talented students to become math professors, but that is never explicitly stated. (This seems oddly contradictory to Nitza Freeman's philosophy.) At the end of the film Zeb is talking about publishing an important paper by the time he is 18. Sounds like the profs have gotten to him.

Most of the kids seem moderately normal except Arnav. That dude is seriously irritating! BTW the basketball scene with Alex feels scripted and fake.

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