Vietnamese Talents
Interview with two-time winner of International Math Olympiad
  • By Hoai Nam | | July 17, 2014 08:25 AM

Pham Tuan Huy has just won a gold medal for the second time at the International Mathematical Olympiad 2014.

Huy, a student at Vietnam National University – HCM City’s School for Gifted Students, has just returned to Vietnam after attending the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in South Africa.


Pham Tuan Huy wins second gold medal at the IMO

His talent for math was discovered by his sixth grade math teacher. He answered some questions for DTiNews about his studies, his dreams and plans for the future.

This is the second time that you’ve won the International Mathematical Olympiad. How have you overcome the pressures of the situation?

This was the second time I’ve taken part in the competition, so I’m a bit more familiar with it. However, this year I was feeling more pressure because of increased expectations.

But I didn't really make it my goal to win the gold medal. In fact, I was not completely satisfied with my performance. In the end, I handled the pressure by seeing it not as an opportunity to beat my competitors, but a chance to meet other students from around the world.

You’ve won the gold medal at the IMO twice, the same as the well known Professor Ngo Bao Chau. What do you think about this?

I don’t think much about it. All mathematics students idolise Professor Ngo Bao Chau and I don’t deserve to be compared with him.

I think both he and I have lived and done what we do because we love it, not to show off.

You've made considerable achievements at an early age. But you seem quite modest about them.

I do't think of my achievements as anything special. I don't think that competitions reflect one's real ability.

Everyone has their own strong points and use those gifts in their own way. I still have much to learn from people around me, especially my friends.


Huy and his proud father

Apart from math, what other subjects are you interested in?

I’m really interested in music, art and literature. I have spent some time studying music, but had to drop it because I didn't have the time.

I’m also fond of literature. I think that it fosters my creative side and nurtures my soul and personality.

How have you been preparing for your overseas studies in the U.S this September?

I haven't prepared for that trip yet. I haven’t even chosen a major. I intend to spend my first year challenging myself in different fields before coming to a final decision on that.

I really want to find opportunities to further develop my strengths. I’ll miss Vietnam very much, especially my relatives and Vietnamese food.

What are your dreams?

I don't really have a clear dream for my future at this point. I really want to live as the person that I am and contribute to society; make my own footprint in life. I’ll try my best to gradually realise that vision.

Thank you very much!

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