A STUDENT from Somerset has been named top female mathematician in the world.

Yuka Machino, from Millfield Upper Sixth School, was the highest placed female competitor at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) this month (September 2020).

She came 22nd out of 616 competitors and was the only UK participant to win a gold medal.

Headmaster at the school in Street, Gavin Horgan, said: “My congratulations to Yuka and her teachers for a tremendous result, what a way to start the school year.

“Yuka is a fantastic example to young people hoping to achieve great things academically; we are so proud of her here at Millfield.”

The IMO, which sees children from more than 100 countries compete to solve complex mathematical problems, was meant to be hosted in Russia – but took place online due to coronavirus guidelines.

The UK team are ninth in the world after completing the two four and a half hour papers that form the competition.

Miss Machino also won a bronze medal at the 2020 Romanian Master of Mathematics Competition and gold medals at the European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad in both 2019 and 2020.

Here is an example of a question from the IMO:

There are 4n pebbles of weights 1, 2, 3, . . . , 4n.

Each pebble is coloured in one of n colours and there are four pebbles of each colour.

Show that we can arrange the pebbles into two piles so that the following two conditions are both satisfied:

• The total weights of both piles are the same.

• Each pile contains two pebbles of each colour.