Durban whizz kid wins SA Maths Olympiad
Aaron Naidu, 17, a Grade 12 pupil at Eden College in Glenwood, received the medal during the awards evening hosted by the SA Mathematics Foundation at Gordon’s Bay in Cape Town on Saturday.
Being a medallist at the SAMO just once is a huge achievement, but Aaron has collected a record six medals - three gold and three silver - over the past six years.
A few weeks ago he also became the first high school pupil to win the Tertiary/University Mathematics Olympiad, where he competed against the top maths university students in South Africa up to fourth year/Honours level.
He has won multiple maths competitions and Olympiads and is ranked joint top SAMO medal recipient of all time.
His academic talents go well beyond maths, as evidenced by his school aggregate of 98.9%.
Aaron was also part of the school team that won the 2018 regional Daily News High Schools Quiz and was runner-up in the National Quiz.
He is excited about being a finalist in the Physics and Computer Olympiads, and leaves for Cape Town in two weeks for the Programming Olympiad finals.
With brother Joedon Naidu previously having placed fifth in the Mathematics Olympiad, Aaron said he did not picture himself doing anything besides math.
“I think medicine is an important field and I envy my parents for their contribution in the field, but I see myself working with numbers in the Information Technology field. I have always been fascinated by numbers. I am going to study maths and computer science next year.
“Computers are the future. In 20 years they will play a bigger role in our everyday lives. Computer programming involves a lot of codes and numbers, and it will give me the opportunity to do what I love,” he said.
He said he was lucky to have the support of his parents, Dr Sean Naidu and Dr Anoshini Moodley, UKZN’s Emeritus Professor Poobhalan Pillay, and his maths teacher, Karen Morrison.