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Lars makes math exciting on TikTok: 'I want to show the fun sides'

Lars makes math exciting on TikTok: ‘I want to show the fun sides’

Lars has always loved math, he says. “I’ve always liked puzzles and logic. Or I watch YouTube videos about math. I find it interesting to see how someone comes up with a solution through logical reasoning.”

At a young age, he already participated in mathematics competitions, such as the Kangaroo Competition for primary school students. He also reached the final of the junior version of the Math Olympiad. “I was told there is also a real Math Olympiad.”

1.3 million views

The seed was planted. Lars wanted nothing more than to participate in such a large international competition himself. Now, years later, it’s time. He is participating for the first time. Practice it for days. “For the past three weeks, I’ve worked in a practice match every day for 4.5 hours, just like the two days of competition.”

Lars does not keep his love for mathematics a secret. On the contrary: he likes to share it with the people around him as evidenced by the videos on his site TikTok page. At the beginning of 2021, he thought: I want to talk about mathematics topics that I love, but you don’t just come across at school. “At school, everything is so boring. You can’t really see the interesting parts.”

One of Lars’ first TikTok videos can be viewed below:

He has more than 50,000 followers and got more than 100,000 likes on his many videos. The video with the most views (1.3 million) was about Mathematics B – Examination of pre-university education. Lars talks about many different topics, such as whole numbersAlien Mathematicsthe shape of the universe And the his life† He gets nice feedback on it. “People deal with aspects of math that they don’t normally deal with. I notice people start loving math more and more. I think that’s nice.”

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big match

The International Mathematical Olympiad will be held on July 11-12. Lars’s Dutch team actually traveled to Oslo last Friday for a training week (as can be seen In this video† “I don’t have that much stress,” Lars says. “I’ll see how it goes. But it would be very nice to win a medal of course.”

“Great if you do one job”

Quentin Poet is one of the organizers of the Dutch Mathematical Olympiad. It scouts students from the Eindhoven University of Technology and organizes courses to eventually bring the top six students to the competition. He also works as a math teacher in a high school.

He talks about what the Olympics look like. “The competition consists of two days. Each day the participants have to complete three tasks. They are given 4.5 hours to do it. During those hours, this task is entirely for your life. It is good to know one task if you can solve two of them, that’s great .”

A total of 600 students from more than 100 countries participate in the competition. Half of them go home with a medal, Boet says. “About 50 people get a gold medal, about 100 go home with a silver and about 150 go home with a bronze.”

Selection process

The six team members were chosen from among thousands of participants. “I started this selection process a year and a half ago,” Boett says. “Out of those thousands of participants, we choose the top 1000 participants for the second round. The top 150 and then go to the final and from that we choose the top 30 people to train with for a year. Some of the team members have been involved in this training for four years, every year at a higher level.” .

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What is remarkable is that there are no girls in the last six. Puite can’t give a reason for this, but says that boys often dare a little more than girls. “Girls are quick to say: I’m having a busy year and I don’t want to miss lessons at school.” However, he is expecting a girl on the team next year. “Yes, she is an up-and-coming talent.”