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Taiwan Wins 3 Gold Medals and 2 Silver Medals at the 2013 International Physics Olympiad

Taiwan had great success at the 2013 International Physics Olympiad (IPhO). Five students from Taiwan won 3 gold medals and 2 silver medals at the competition, which 381 students from 83 countries participated. Of these five students, Zhang Wen-ju (張文于) from Sacred Heart High School (in Yunlin County) (雲林縣正心高級中學) got the best score, and was in fifth place in the competition. 41 students won gold medals at the 44th IPhO: China and Korea won 5 gold medals respectively; Russia and Singapore each had 4 gold medals; Taiwan, the United States, Iran and Thailand all won 3 gold medals; Vietnam, Romania and Hungary all won 2 gold medals; and Bulgaria, India, Israel, Lithuania and Poland won 1 gold medal each.

Dr. Jia Jhih-da (賈至達) of the Department of Physics of NTNU, along with more than 10 other professors took charge of training the Taiwanese team. Team members were selected in four stages: the primary competition, semi-final competition, pre-game training camp, and final competition. 3,007 students joined the primary competition this year, and finally 5 students were chosen to represent Taiwan in the IPhO. The Taiwanese team went to Copenhagen on July 7th to join the 44th IPhO. The closing and award ceremonies were held on July 14th local time.

Taiwan joined this international competition for the first time in 1994, and has performed well each year. To date, Taiwan has won 50 gold medals, 21 silver medals, 18 bronze medals and 8 honorable mentions. On average over the past 10 years Taiwan was ranked in fifth place, and all participants from Taiwan won gold medals at the 2005, 2010, 2011, and 2012 IPhO.

The five winning students’ information and their awards are as follows:

Name  School  Grade  Medal Awards 
Zhang Wen-ju Sacred Hearts High School 3 Gold
Luo Yu-kai Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School 2 Gold
Luo Zong-you National Wu-Ling Senior High School 2 Gold
Syu Jing-jhong National Taichung First Senior High School 3 Silver
Yan Cyuan-yi National Changhua Senior High School 3 Silver

To recognize these students’ outstanding performance, the Ministry of Education (MOE) formulated and issued Regulations Governing Academic Advancement Incentives for Students Who Compete and Perform Well in International Mathematics or Science Olympiads and International Science Fairs. Those who win gold, silver, or bronze medals in the IPhO can be automatically admitted university mathematics and science related departments, or recommended to any university departments for admission. While those who win an honorary award may also be recommended for admission to university mathematics and science departments. Additionally, those who win a gold, silver, or bronze medal will receive 200 thousand NT dollars, 100 thousand NT dollars or 50 thousand NT dollars scholarships, respectively. A student who wins two or more different awards in the same subject area or different subject areas during the same academic year should apply for the most valuable scholarship he qualifies for. 

In the future, Taiwan will continue to train students and invite the most outstanding ones to join the international contests, to promote the country’s international exchanges and expand the students’ global perspective. The nation will no doubt select the best-qualified students to compete in next year’s IPhO, which will be held in Kazakstan.