Faculdade do Impa uses knowledge olympiads to select students

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A medal in the Brazilian Public School Mathematics Olympiad (Obmep) can become a passport to enter college. Performance in the knowledge competition is one of the selection criteria for the undergraduate course in mathematics of technology and innovation at the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (Impa), inaugurated this Tuesday (2), in Rio de Janeiro, with the presence of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Impa Tech, as the course is known, will have 100 students in its first year, reaching 400 in four years, when the first students are graduating. The degree is financed by the Ministries of Education (MEC) and Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI).

Rio de Janeiro (RJ), 04/02/2024 – The President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during the inauguration of Impa Tech and the beginning of classes for the 1st bachelor's class in Mathematics of Technology and Innovation, in the port area of ​​the capital of Rio de Janeiro . Photo: Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil
Rio de Janeiro (RJ), 04/02/2024 – The President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during the inauguration of Impa Tech and the beginning of classes for the 1st bachelor's class in Mathematics of Technology and Innovation, in the port area of ​​the capital of Rio de Janeiro . Photo: Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil
President Lula during the inauguration of Impa Tech and the beginning of classes for the 1st bachelor’s class in mathematics of technology and innovation – Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil

In addition to Obmep – which also receives participation from students from private schools – the Brazilian Chemistry (OBQ), Physics (OBF) and IT (OBI) Olympiads are used to select students, as well as the Brazilian Mathematics Olympiad (OBM, level above from Obmep) and the mathematics score from the National High School Exam (Enem).

The second phase of the selection process included group activities and individual interviews online.

One of the students starting the school year this week is Alexander Kahleul, 19 years old. He is from the Minas Gerais city of Januária, in the Médio São Francisco region, more than six hours by car north of Belo Horizonte.

Alexander got the position after two silver medals at Obmep, in 2022 and 2023. Brazil Agencyhe says that mathematics is a “very big opportunity for growth” for him.

“I think this is the best environment I could find in Brazil to follow my dream of studying mathematics”, considers the university student, who saw his interest in exact science grow precisely after participating in the Olympics.

“The mathematics of the Olympics appears very different from what is given in the traditional one. These are not just mechanical procedures, as is generally taught in schools. We have to think and have new ideas and creativity to solve the problems proposed”, adds Alexander.

Scholarship and housing

The course begins with a basic cycle of one and a half years. Students then choose from four emphases: mathematics, computer science, data science, and physics.

As the selection is made up of national competitions and tests, there is a large number of students selected from outside Rio de Janeiro. Of the 52 students already selected for the first class, 44 are from 18 other states and the Federal District. The majority are from Minas Gerais, with ten representatives.

To help students support themselves financially during graduation, the federal government will pay a scholarship of R$500, in addition to food assistance of R$1,290 per month.

In partnership with the project, the city of Rio de Janeiro will be responsible for housing 60 students. Housing is being built next to Impa Tech. While the rooms are not ready, the students will stay in a hotel in front of the facilities, with daily rates also covered by the city hall.

In addition to Alexander, another university student who will occupy one of the rooms is Lucas Paulo Gonçalves, 17, who left the Minas Gerais city of Iguatama, with less than 7 thousand inhabitants, to study in Rio de Janeiro. He was selected for his good performance in the Enem 2023 mathematics test, with a grade of 875.6 (the maximum grade achieved in 2023 was 958.6).

For Lucas, mathematics represents the future of humanity. “It is the method of representing most of our problems today and of finding the solution to these same problems represented by mathematics.”

Lucas says that it was difficult to leave the family at such a young age, but he is not discouraged with his new path. “Even though you have all this difficulty, you have to fight, battle and overcome it.”

The general director of Impa, Marcelo Viana, points out that the selection of students based on results obtained in the knowledge olympiads is a way of “searching for the most talented young people that Brazil has, in every corner of this continental-sized country” .

Until the inauguration of the undergraduate course, Impa was a center of excellence in master’s, doctoral and teacher training courses. The general director recalls that mathematician Artur Ávila is linked to the institute, the only Brazilian in history to win the Fields Medal, considered the Oscar of Mathematics.

Port Maravalley

University students will have a structure with classrooms, library and laboratories at their disposal. Impa Tech operates in a renovated warehouse in the port area of ​​Rio de Janeiro, Porto Maravalley, a hub of innovation in the city.

The name of the Rio city hall project is a reference to the region known as Porto Maravilha and the Silicon Valley in California – where companies such as Apple, Google, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Meta (Facebook) and Netflix are headquartered. .

As well as the hub American, the city hall that attracts promising technology companies, the startupsand promote integration with Impa Tech students.

Diversity

General director Marcelo Viana stated that the search for diversity is one of the institute’s objectives.

Rio de Janeiro (RJ), 04/02/2024 – The general director of Impa Tech, Marcelo Viana during the inauguration of Impa Tech and the beginning of classes for the 1st bachelor's class in Mathematics of Technology and Innovation, in the port area of ​​the capital of Rio de Janeiro . Photo: Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil
Rio de Janeiro (RJ), 04/02/2024 – The general director of Impa Tech, Marcelo Viana during the inauguration of Impa Tech and the beginning of classes for the 1st bachelor's class in Mathematics of Technology and Innovation, in the port area of ​​the capital of Rio de Janeiro . Photo: Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil
The general director of Impa Tech, Marcelo Viana, during the inauguration of Impa Tech – Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil

Viana recalled that the selection notice provides for affirmative actions for 25% of vacancies, that is, quotas for blacks, mixed race, indigenous people, quilombolas and people with disabilities.

“We did it in our notice, we sought maximum diversity. Social barriers end up having an influence, but the notice is entirely focused on this and, in fact, as we are essentially choosing students from the Brazilian Public School Mathematics Olympiad, which goes to the whole of Brazil, then we already have this definition for medalists very important work to seek diversity, to be very inclusive.”

According to the 2022 Census from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), brown, black and indigenous people make up 56% of the population.

Of the 52 students who begin their degree this week, 16 are women. One of them is Isabelli Cristine da Silva, 21 years old, from São José, a municipality in Greater Florianópolis. In elementary and high school, she accumulated four medals at Obmep. Of these, the two from high school earned a place at Impa Tech, one silver and one bronze, in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

“For me, mathematics is everything. A language that can represent all things. It’s very interesting to be able to go to a college that is willing to have a lot of innovation. There is a very large job market for this area. I’m very excited,” she told Brazil Agency the college student who is already missing home.

“I have a 5-year-old godson, it is very difficult to be away from him, from my mother, but we have to do this, pursue a better future for all of them.”

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Faculdade Impa knowledge olympiads select students

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