The responses continue to the study by Dr. Andreescu and his colleagues. Geekdad, a blog of Wired Magazine, has the following article which contains contributions from Mary O’Keefe, mother of IMO team member Alison Miller. Mary hits themes that Richard Rusczyk stressed in his talk, particularly the importance of play and community.
I know that Alison got an enormous sense of belonging out of her first math Olympiad summer training camp experience, and it literally transformed her life. Melanie Wood was a staff member at Alison’s first camp and I think she deserves an enormous amount of credit for her leadership in transforming the culture there. Alison has tried to “pay that forward” by mentoring younger students and helping to create mathematical communities they could enjoy. For Alison and Melanie, I think coaching and mentoring has been even more fun and rewarding than competing.