It all started with a phone call from one of his teachers, where Zawad was told to report to his school on a national holiday in 2011. To this young prodigy in the making, the mathematic calculations offered seemed very easy. On that very year, Zawad managed to become the champion of the champions in the primary section.
Star Youth casts the spotlight on Ahmed Zawad Chowdhury who has won the first ever Gold Medal for Bangladesh in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) at its 59th session held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
For Zawad, his love for mathematics trails back to 2011 when a competition was organised by The Daily Prothom Alo and Dutch Bangla Bank. After getting promoted to grade six, Zawad won the title in the primary level. His wins on the national level competitions played a major role to success. In 2013, Zawad got qualified to attend the 2-week long National Math Camp. He showed so much progress that in 2014, he could apply for the national level selection round for the national flag bearing team.
IMO is one of the largest international events for high school students and each team can have a six member contingent. Every team member is ranked individually and the group scores are aggregated into the position of the team as a whole. This year, Bangladesh’s position was 41th amongst the 116 participating teams and other than Zawad winning the Gold Medal, there were three more participants who won the Bronze Medal for Bangladesh.
Every year, the graph of Zawad’s performance showed a consistent rise. In 2016 when he first participated in the International Mathematical Olympiad, Zawad returned with a Bronze Medal. Last year, Zawad missed the Gold for only 2 points winning the Silver. Finally this year without letting anyone down, Zawad has managed to capture the Gold Medal.
Unfortunately, this year was Zawad’s last chance to participate in the IMO as he graduated from high school. However, his dream doesn’t stop here. Zawad dreams to pursue mathematics and computer science in one of the best universities. He feels, winning the Gold Medal has been a relief and can now finally smile as the time he invested was worth it.
Zawad wants to thank The Daily Prothom Alo and Dutch Bangla Bank to have helped him shape up to where he is now and of course his coach Mahbub Mazumder and MunirHasan, the General Secretary of Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad Committee.
What advice does Zawad have for others waiting to follow his footsteps? “If you are interested in anything, do not just sit there but pursue it.”
The second episode of Youth Talk, a new initiative of Star Youth, The Daily Star, which is a dialogue programme focusing on the development of the young generation of Bangladesh, features Ahmed Zawad Chowdhury and Munir Hasan, General Secretary, Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad Committee. To watch the full interview, please visit the following link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8htMQWkTt5s