Let this post open #IntroduceYourself thread. I'm currently a student at the "Orizont" Lyceum -- a private Moldo-Turkish high-school located in Chisinau, the capital of the Republic of Moldova. I've participated in various mathematical Olympaids for more than 7 years. For me mathematics is much more than simply a subject -- it's a big and wonderful world, with magnificent interconnected inner structure. I think that being selfish, while studying math is one of the biggest educational crimes. I'm always eager to help my peers and motivate them to study more and beyond the school curriculum. My main focus currently lies in the field of Olympiad Mathematics, but I'm always open to something new.
What I find meaningful about Brilliant.org?
Brilliant is a great resource, which tries to do an immense job. As a person, who considers mathematical education a basic need, I highly appreciate the effort done by Brilliant staff and community. I think linking the minds over the Internet, sharing the knowledge and providing a big base for training is a keystone of progress in mathematical education.
What is the key to success at the Olympiads?
There is no magical recipe, no luck and probably no destiny. The only thing, which decides how far you can get, is your own preparation and motivation. I had my ups and downs, but every miss, every fail, every mistake, was also priceless experience. The key to success is simple: practice a lot, think positively, never surrender and learn on your mistakes!
How important is the teacher in the educational process?
I can say that teacher is very important. However, now teacher rather carries the duty of spiritual mentor. Many of us don't need imposed motivation or face-to-face explanations, but the spiritual support is sometimes hard to maintain on your own. In this context, your best friend, peer or maybe parent may become your teacher.
How much time do I spend practicing?
It varies; currently I spend no more than 2-3 hours per day with a total of 12-15 hours per week. However, I'm excluding our school's math class (we have a special class where students may solve Olympiad problems). I reduced the time I spend practicing math, because I'm currently working on my applications to the universities and preparation to the school leaving exams. A week or two before the National Olympiad and approximately a month before the IMO, I practice about 5-6 hours per day. Practice makes perfect, but never forget about a good walk. However, if it's possible cut the time you spend surfing the web. Just be sincere with yourself, most of this time goes in vain.
What books do I read in my free time?
I read math books, mainly on college topics like Abstract Algebra or Number Theory. I also like to read artistic literature. I love Russian poetry, especially Sergey Esenin and Iosif Brodsky. I try to read as much as possible in English. During the last year I read "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway, "Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk and "The Psychopath Test" by Jon Ronson. I'm also fond of psychology and related fields, so I read some works of Freud, Jung and Chomsky. Last year I also read "The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind" by Gustave Le Bon.
Who created all this weird questions?
I. I thought it will be the most interesting part about me, but if you want to hear another stories feel free to comment here or to contact me via my Facebook page.