Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Royal Society of Chemistry offered a £500 reward for answering a maths problem which is part of a Chinese university entry test. The challenge triggered a "phenomenal" level of interest, says the Royal Society of Chemistry. The competition led to massive e-mail traffic, the establishment of internet blog sites and newspaper articles in numerous countries as diverse as China, Iran and the USA.Almost a million people looked at the puzzle on the BBC News website. The winner - with the first correct answer drawn from among thousands of entries - was 34-year-old David Brockley from Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex. Another prize of £250 was given for international entrants - won by Henri Saarikoski who lives in the Netherlands.Mr Brockley answered the maths problem during his lunch break assisted, apparently, by his four-month-old son, Jack. The Royal Society of Chemistry set the problem to show the gap between what is expected of undergraduates in the UK and those youngsters seeking to enter university in China. The puzzle included a much easier maths question from an unnamed university in England, set to assess the capabilities of first year science students.

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