Thailand IMO Candidates Part of Growing Market for
June 25, 2001--With the help of Dr. Krisanadej Jaroensutasinee, Thailand
is creating a new market of Mathematica users. Jaroensutasinee
is a professor of physics at Walailak University,
where they train area high school students to represent their country
in the International
Mathematics and Physics Olympiads. He uses Mathematica extensively
in his teaching and research and has recently applied to become a consultant
and distributor of Mathematica software.
Jaroensutasinee and his colleagues have introduced Mathematica
to their potential Olympians as a useful tool for math and science
projects. Walailak University hosts two series of month-long camps where
the students are provided with lectures, tutorials, laboratories, science
projects, and special classes that focus on thinking skills. The three best
students from each subject are then chosen, and they join the students selected
from other parts of Thailand at the central camp in Bangkok. There,
the process continues until the national representatives for the International
Olympiads are selected.
Wolfram Research is a title sponsor of the 2001 International Mathematics
Olympiad, which will be held July 1-14 in Washington, D.C. Says
Jaroensutasinee, "In Thailand, the national committees see this competition
as a way of uplifting our mathematics and science education throughout
the country. The committees designate top universities all over the country
to search for the 'hidden elephants' (potential students) and then train
them to the national standard because teaching in each area is not yet up to
Although the main committees set up guidelines for the programs,
Jaroensutasinee says, "We did add some things that were not put in the
guidelines, and Mathematica is one of them. We believe that students
learn better when presented with science projects. Therefore, we added
them in our training."
During the second camp, Jaroensutasinee supervised projects
on "Proving That Planets Orbit in Ellipse" and "Applying Newton's Law of
Gravitation to Study Motion of a Satellite." He says, "Mathematica
played important roles in terms of analysis tools for the students. I plan to
add more Mathematica for these students next year."
Jaroensutasinee himself first used Mathematica as a senior
student in 1990 and has been "impressed with Mathematica ever
since." He now
uses it "to continue my research and do visualization, graphing, and
illustration for my own and my colleagues' publications....I have developed
some simple physics animation, like oscillations, to help my [college]
students grasp difficult concepts in physics." Jaroensutasinee also uses
Mathematica for grading and statistical analysis of the subjects
he teaches. In addition, he plans to deploy parallel computing and Mathematica to
solve complex problems such as water flow in ponds used in shrimp farming.
With Jaroensutasinee positioned to provide Thailand with a reliable reseller
and consultant, interest in Mathematica is growing. A
took place June 18-22, 2001, at Walailak's Asian Institute of
Technology with presentations given by Dr. Gautam Dasgupta,
Professor of Civil Engineering at Columbia University, New York.
has also organized a Mathematica Users Club and created a website
that is dedicated to this group and provides additional Mathematica
resources, examples, and forums.